By the numbers

July 1, 2009 – June 30, 2010

Drug offenses: 416

Alcohol offenses: 553

July 1, 2010 – June 30, 2011

Drug offenses: 381

Alcohol offenses: 516

Source: CU Police Department

Within the last couple of years, new programs implemented by the University of Colorado Police could be credited for a drop in 2010-2011drug and alcohol violations on campus, officials said.

From the fiscal year of July 1, 2010 to June 30 of this year, CU police issued 381 drug violations and 516 alcohol violations — almost 10 percent less than the previous year, according to statistics provided by the department.

CU Police Cmdr. Robert Axmacher said the change could be a result of some new department programs .

“We are not ready to claim any big successes yet, but we are working with the university to get the message out there,” Axmacher said. “I think the most effective has been the orientation program.”

In the fall of 2009, CU Police partnered with the Office of Student Conduct to present the first “Responsibility 101” class during freshmen orientation. The course offers basic safety tips — like protecting your bike and laptop on campus — as well as an overview of university policies focused on drugs and alcohol, Axmacher said.

The session also includes information about the Office of Student Conduct, which evaluates student offenses and gives disciplinary action, in addition to court-ordered fines and community service.

“Student Conduct really reinforces our policies,” Axmacher said. “We try to let students know up front that these offenses could affect their scholarships, their athletic status.

“If you’re in ROTC, one incident can have consequences that go in many different directions.”

Bronson Hilliard, spokesman for the university, said CU has “stepped up” communication with students and parents regarding the honor code, Colorado Creed and conduct code over the past five years.

“Students are surprised to hear, if they’re on spring break and they get into a fist fight and break someone’s jaw and get arrested,” Hilliard said, “or that something that occurs in Vegas or Mexico or Florida can affect their experience in Boulder.”

Hilliard said the student code is not meant to ramp-up the punishment for students who receive criminal violations — even though students can receive additional consequences from the Office of Student Conduct for criminal offenses — but to hold them responsible for their actions.

“What we’re trying to do is take another approach to get students to hold themselves accountable to the community,” Hilliard said.

CU Police also expanded patrols by adding four motorcycles to the department in the spring.

“These motorcycles allow us to access and monitor areas of campus that aren’t accessible with police cars,” Axmacher said.

Officers were trained and certified on the bikes in spring and have been consistently patrolling on them all summer, he said.

Axmacher said the department has also spent the last three football seasons re-evaluating their large-scale security procedures.

“Last year, as a whole, was a smoother year than the year before,” Axmacher said.

The department will continue to move forward with these and other programs in hopes of another decrease in alcohol and drug violations next year, he said.

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