College Law Enforcement and Security Department Responses to Alcohol-Related Incidents: A National Study

Debra H. Bernat, Kathleen M. Lenk, Toben F. Nelson, Ken C. Winters, Traci L. Toomey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Campus police and security personnel are often the first to respond to alcohol-related incidents on campus. The purpose of this study is to examine how campus law enforcement and security respond to alcohol-related incidents, and how consequences and communication differ based on characteristics of the incident. Methods: Directors of campus police/security from 343 colleges across the United States completed a survey regarding usual practice following serious, underage, and less serious alcohol incidents on and off campus. Results: Campus law enforcement and security most commonly reported contacting campus officials. A minority reported issuing citations and referring students to the health center. Enforcement actions were more commonly reported for serious and underage incidents than for less serious incidents. Large (vs. small) colleges, public (vs. private) colleges, and those located in small (vs. large) towns more consistently reported taking actions against drinkers. Conclusions: Understanding how campus police and security respond to alcohol-related incidents is essential for reducing alcohol-related problems on college campuses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2253-2259
Number of pages7
JournalAlcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Volume38
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2014

Keywords

  • Alcohol
  • College
  • Law Enforcement
  • Prevention

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