Total crime on State Patty’s Day weekend was reduced for a third consecutive year, but there were 20 percent more arrests and citations than 2017, according to State College and Penn State police.
Reported crime was down 3.7 percent, DUI arrests were down 71 percent, ordinance violations were down 47 percent, parking violations were down 38 percent and alcohol overdoses reported at Mount Nittany Medical Center were down 23 percent from noon on Feb. 23 to noon Feb. 25.
While this year’s 160 arrests were a 20 percent increase from last year, it is less than half of the arrests in 2011 (337) and 2012 (328).
The two departments received 471 calls for service for the second consecutive year. There were 656 calls for service in 2011, which is the most in the last eight years.
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Centre LifeLink EMS was dispatched to 50 calls from 6 p.m. on Feb. 23 to 6 a.m. on Feb. 25, according a release. Alcohol was involved in 80 percent of those calls. The company responded to 95 calls in 2017 with 32 percent being alcohol-related.
State College police Chief John Gardner said the event, “Continues to create significant problems and is a great concern for our community. Most of the focus of this event is around both illegal consumption and over-consumption of alcohol.”
Gardner said an extraordinary amount of money has been devoted to stop State Patty’s Day.
“The greatest success we as a town-gown community partnership have had in reducing the negative impacts of this event was when Penn State paid local liquor license establishments to close on the Saturday of State Patty’s Day. That was very successful but also very costly,” Gardner said.
Less costly, and possibly more effective, measures are still being explored by the department.
“This event is still a major problem and unwelcomed in our community,” Gardner said. “The State College Borough and Penn State University will continue to search for the answers that will end this event for our collective safety and well-being.”