The State College Police Department released crime data comparing State Patty’s Day 2018 to previous editions of the unofficial student holiday the week before spring break.
The police department, borough, and university have worked to faze out the event in the previous couple of years — ramping up patrolling, placing restrictions on guests in residence halls, and even at one point (although not in the past four years) paying the bars to shut down on the day.
“An extraordinary amount of time and money has been devoted to trying to put an end to this nonsensical event,” State College police chief John Gardner said.
Statistics in all categories are down from the numbers posted in 2011-12, the holiday’s peak. Penn State offered to pay bars to shut down in 2013-14, which is when the police department saw the biggest success in curbing the drinking holiday. Reported crime, arrests and citations, and total cases all saw a rise in the following years.
The result: Total crime was down about four percent (190 cases in 2017 down to 183 cases in 2018). DUI arrests also went down from seven in 2017 to two in 2018 and it was previously reported that EMS calls were down in 2018. That’s backed up by alcohol overdose cases at Mount Nittany Medical Center, which were down more than 22 percent from 2017. Total calls for service did not change in these two years and total cases were up about two percent.
Despite reported crime being down and a relatively small change in total cases, arrests and citations went way up in 2018. There was a 20.3 percent rise in arrests and citations — going up to 160 from 133 the year before. This has been the trend of the past two years.
Check out the full data set below (all data is from noon Friday, February 23 to noon Sunday, February 25):