The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Contextualizing the weekly crime log

Photo by Patrick Hansell for The Lafayette
The college’s yearly crime history is published in the “Annual Security and Fire Safety Report.”

Each week, The Lafayette publishes a crime log from the Office of Public Safety. The crime log highlights incidents occurring on Lafayette-owned property, which are communicated from Public Safety to the newspaper’s editors.

All of Public Safety’s crime classifications come directly from Title 18 statute of the Pennsylvania General Assembly. Reporters from The Lafayette cite Public Safety’s reports verbatim, meaning some of the crime log wording is hard to follow. The Lafayette has compiled a glossary of some of the most common crimes and infractions that stirred up questions on campus.

Minors (Chapter 63): Purchase Consumption Possession or Trans of Liquor/Malt or Brewed Beverage:

This offense occurs when underage students involve themselves with alcohol. It applies when one “attempts to purchase, purchases, consumes, possesses or knowingly and intentionally transports any liquor or malt or brewed beverages,” according to the Pennsylvania General Assembly. It is also the most common offense at Lafayette, with 70 offenses reported in 2022.

A person convicted of violating this law may be fined up to $500 for the first violation.

Chapter 63 of the Pennsylvania General Assembly statute primarily covers underage alcohol consumption, but also notes similar serious offenses for underage campus members. These include offenses such as furnishing cigarettes, or more serious offenses like unlawful contact with minors.

“If we discover [this offense] on patrol then we would make an arrest,” Public Safety Director Jeff Troxell said. “If somebody calls in as a Good Samaritan, then it gets referred to the Dean of Students. Most likely, there was a Good Samaritan call in our crime log reports of this offense.”

Controlled Substance-Drug Device: Poss with Intent to Use Drug Paraphernalia:

This designation occurs when Public Safety encounters a drug abuse violation. Only four of these crimes were reported in 2022. Notably, this crime is not listed on the Pennsylvania General Assembly’s list.

Similar to the alcohol offenses, Good Samaritan laws also apply to drug violations.

Riot Disorderly Conduct & Related Offenses (Chapter 55): Public Drunkenness & Similar Misconduct:

The offense essentially means a student appears in any “public place manifestly under the influence of alcohol,” as the Pennsylvania General Assembly states. It falls under Chapter 55, which covers disorderly contact such as loitering, gambling or rioting.

As with alcohol offenses, students violating this section may be sentenced to a $500 fine for the first offense.

Defiant Trespass:

A trespass is defined as “defiant” when a student ignores pleas from Public Safety or eyewitnesses and continues to violate trespassing restrictions. This law comes from Chapter 35 of the Pennsylvania General Assembly statute: Burglary and Other Criminal Intrusion.

Terroristic Threat:

Public Safety defines a terroristic threat as when “a person communicates, either directly or indirectly, a threat to commit any crime of violence with intent to terrorize another.”

The two terroristic threats marked in the crime log this semester were not direct threats to the community.

“We would notify the campus community instantly if there was a serious threat,” Troxell said.

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About the Contributors
Andreas Pelekis
Andreas Pelekis, Assistant News Editor
Tennis addict.
Patrick Hansell
Patrick Hansell, Staff Photographer

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