State Patty’s Day 2013 Crime Numbers Down

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State Patty’s Day 2013 has come and gone, but an optimism remains that the pseudo-holiday may be over — or at least significantly hindered — after crime numbers this year indicate a substantial downtrend in illegal activity and shenanigans.

For those in State College this weekend, there was a noticeable calmness compared to previous State Patty’s Day weekends. I wrote last week that paying the bars to close might actually backfire on the efforts to help curb the dangerous drinking habits associated with the event. It turns out that I was wrong. It seemed that fewer people were downtown and the stigma associated with the weekend might have kept some out-of-towners away.

Police and EMS numbers seem to confirm this plummet in State Patty’s Day activity. Here are just some of the preliminary numbers released yesterday by the police and EMS services. These numbers encompass the entire weekend from Friday-Sunday.

  • Total calls for service (State College police): 327 — down from 412 in 2012 and 460 in 2011
  • State College Police citations: 138 — down from 225 in 2012 and 234 in 2011
  • Penn State Police citations: 46 — down from 108 in 2012 and 104 in 2011
  • Penn State Police incident reports: 59 — down from 96 in 2012
  • People receiving treatment for alcohol related conditions: 43 — down from 54 in 2012
  • DUI arrests: 4 — down from 14 in 2012 and 14 in 2011
  • Noise violations citation: 18 — down from 24 in 2012 and 34 in 2011
  • Ordinance violations: 7 — down from 15 in 2012 and 22 in 2011
  • In all, the State College Police had 21% fewer calls, 39% fewer arrests, and 71% fewer DUI arrests than 2012

What’s the reason for the decreased numbers? It’s hard to say, but you can’t ignore the ramped up anti-State Patty’s Day initiatives taken this year. Between threatening police tactics, closed bars/liquor stores, and numerous apartment complexes banning parties, there was a stigma associated with the weekend like never before.

Not everyone was happy to see the decreased activity, though. The owners of India Pavilion and The Graduate can’t be too thrilled with how the weekend went. Other business took a hit in revenue. Happy Valley Freez, for example, voiced its displeasure on Twitter for the lack of drunkards downtown throughout the day.

While that sentiment seemed to be in the minority, it’s fair to ask if this downtrend is sustainable. And if so, what is the exit strategy? The borough can’t afford to spend nearly $200,000 every year to close down the bars. But was this year the nail in the coffin?

I don’t think anyone knows for sure, but right now, it’s easy to get excited at the prospect of a safer — or non-existent — State Patty’s Day.

Photo By: Grant Brown
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About Author

Kevin Horne was the editor of Onward State from 2012-2014 and currently holds the position of Managing Editor Emeritus, which is a fake title he made up. He graduated from Penn State with degrees journalism and political science in 2014 and is currently seeking his J.D. at the Penn State Dickinson School of Law. A third generation Penn Stater from Williamsport, Pa., Kevin is also the president of the graduate student government. Email: [email protected]

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