The arrest this week of 96 suspects on drug-related charges, including 75 students, after a six-month sting operation at San Diego State University is shining a fresh spotlight on the issue of growing substance abuse at America’s colleges and universities, reports the Christian Science Monitor. The incident also highlights the growing sophistication of on-campus drug sellers and the need for university officials and police to broaden their response capabilities to meet the growing challenge. Campus police see an increase in related crimes, such as fights, robbery, property damage, and vandalism.
Increasingly in recent years, and especially since the shootings at Virginia Tech last year, campus police at colleges and universities have forged better links with law enforcement. “We have been encouraging our campus security institutions to be more proactive with safety and security in reaching out to other law enforcement entities,” says Steven Healy, director of public safety at Princeton University and immediate past president of the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators. The organization encourages strong relationships with the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI.