SDPD and SDSU police team up to reduce crime

Posted at 7:34 PM, Aug 30, 2016

A new semester at San Diego State University has begun, and that means there's a flood of new students on campus.

"There's literally thousands of new kids entering into our ZIP code, into our neighborhood," said College Area resident Keith York.

York knows along with that comes the potential for a repeat of the same problems with traffic violators, noise and out-of-control house parties.

"We need to share and discuss what it means to be a new neighbor. I think every year we have to do that," added York.

With the start of the semester, San Diego police and SDSU campus police officers are increasing their patrols day and night.

They're looking for students jaywalking, or parking across sidewalks, on the lawn or illegally without the proper permit on neighborhood streets.

"It's good they're keeping student population down in neighborhood. But, they're a bit overzealous on the people who live here and people we hire to work on our homes like plumbers and electricians," said College Area resident James Cornelius.

Cornelius and other residents are concerned about out-of-control house parties and events at SDSU, including Aztecs Nights -- a series of events on campus for the first month to welcome new students.

During on-campus events, some of which go to 2:00 a.m., organizers will use a decibel meter app to make sure the noise doesn't exceed more than 80 decibels. They'll check noise levels from three locations around campus.

During last year's Aztec Nights, a campus police report showed several arrests for underage drinking, public intoxication and passed out students being rushed to the hospital.

Last year, a university spokesperson said they'll add extra police during Aztec Nights.

"This year, we've added two more police officers for a total of 8. All of them will be walking around campus making sure everyone stays safe," said SDSU police Cpl. Mark Peterson.

"The first weekend of Aztec Nights went really well. We had zero noise complaints," said Associated Students executive Dylan Colliflower.

Colliflower said the plan is to keep it that way, as only five events will be outdoor activities.

SDPD's Neighborhood Response Team, also known as "the party car," will have officers patrolling the College Area. They'll be looking out for out-of-control house parties, including those run by fraternities and sororities.

Some Greek life members often live off campus in groups in "satellite" houses, which then become the "party house." Members do this to try to avoid SDSU's policy, which bans alcohol at social events on and off campus during the first two months of school.

"We want students to get off to a good start," said SDSU spokesperson Greg Block.

The efforts are getting mixed reaction in the community.

"We get limited resources but we also have university campus police. So we feel pretty good," said York.

"If they want to keep a neighborhood over here instead of just a party zone, they're going to have to do more," said Cornelius.

Residents who encounter problems with students throughout the school year are urged to call SDPD first. It has jurisdiction on city streets. The wait time can take up to 20 minutes, but residents are advised not to hang up.

If a neighborhood disturbance appears to be related to campus events such as Aztec Nights, residents can call SDSU police at 619-594-1991 (after first calling SDPD). A community resource officer will evaluate the situation, then document and address the issue.