Police Report Significant Increase in State Patty’s Day Weekend Crime
If you thought State Patty’s Day 2016 was more wild than previous years, you were right, and now there are numbers to back it up.
State College Police reported a steep increase in essentially all crime statistics. The numbers are a combination from both the State College Police Department and Penn State University Police.
Police analyzed incidents starting at noon on Friday, February 26 through noon on Sunday, February 28. The total number of crimes and ordinance violations during that time was 207 between the two forces, which at a 47 percent increase from last year’s 140 incidences. Of these, police reported 123 arrests and citations, which is up from 88 last year.
“(Numbers) across the board were up from last year,” said Captain Matthew Wilson.
Cpt. Wilson reported a total of 507 calls for service, which was any time police interacted with people. This includes everything from traffic stops to school checks. This number is up from 38 percent last year. Of those 507 calls, 316 cases were filed, a 46 percent increase from 2015. Though these statistics are clearly an increase from a year ago, Cpt. Wilson noted 2016’s numbers were below that of the State Patty’s peak in 2011.
“We were still significantly under the heyday of State Patty’s Day,” Cpt. Wilson said. For comparison, in 2011 there were 656 calls for service and 490 cases, which is 36 percent fewer than 2016. Police consider a case to be any call that requires investigation, including crimes, crashes, and health and safety instances.
The only number that saw a decrease was the number of DUI arrests, which was four this year compared to 10 last year. Police also reported 15 incidences trips to Mt. Nittany Medical Center for alcohol intoxication, which was the same as 2015. This only includes the number of cases where police put an individual on an ambulance to go to the hospital — there could be others who made their way to Mt. Nittany Medical Center by other means.
“We tried to let State Patty’s Day just happen to see what would happen this time around,” Cpt. Wilson said, noting things like the bars opening (until they decided to close on their own) and Greek life allowing socials. Police weren’t the only ones to see an increase in activity either — Centre LifeLink reported EMS calls were the highest they’ve seen since 2013.
While the numbers are still subject to change following further analysis from police, Cpt. Wilson said they give a pretty good idea of the weekend. No matter which way you spin it, it appears State Patty’s Day is back.