Football-related arrests and alcohol-enforcement violations are down this year, Columbus police officers said at a university area safety committee meeting Wednesday.
“There’s been relatively minimal disruptive behavior,” Columbus Police Lt. Thomas Quinlan said. “We have had some larger parties than normal on 15th [Avenue], so we’re monitoring them, but things are okay right now.”
The H1N1 flu virus was another topic of concern at the meeting, but numerous meetings have already been conducted in preparation for an outbreak, said Vernon Baisden, assistant vice president and director of public safety.
“There’s been countless hours put into this, and I’m happy to say that we have been on top of it,” Baisden said.
As the next step, injectable H1N1 vaccines will begin to be delivered to the university at the end of this week in a slow process, said Bob Armstrong, director of Emergency Management and Fire Prevention at Ohio State.
“We have to follow the rules of who is a priority to receive the vaccines, but part of the priority is those aged 24 and younger, which is a large part of this campus,” Armstrong said.
Armstrong said the university is taking a number of steps to reduce the spread of the flu, including posting “cover your cough” signs in buildings, installing hand sanitizers and preparing “stay well” bags for students that include a free thermometer and face mask. Students are encouraged to go home if they have the H1N1 virus. Faculty have also been encouraged to be more lenient with class absence policies.
“Our goal is to try and reduce the amount of flu on campus,” Armstrong said. “At Washington State they reported 2,500 [H1N1] cases in their first two-to-three weeks. We’re well, well below that. We’re much better off than we could be, but we’ll continue on.”
A series of car break-ins last weekend north of Ackerman Road is a recent concern, University Police Chief Paul Denton said. He noted that off-campus parking and its risks are a constant concern for students.
Two armed robberies occurred Oct. 6 on 15th and King avenues, said Columbus Police Lt. Rod Wittich.
“I’m happy to report the robbery on 15th is solved,” Wittich said. “The entire situation is still under investigation to see if there’s a link between the two robberies.”
Denton also said the armed robbery at UniPrint on Millikin Way in September is still under active investigation.
Columbus police continue to have joint patrols with Ohio State police, and that seems to be well received in the University District, said Willie Young, senior director of Neighborhood
Development and Off-Campus and Commuter Student Services.
“This is evidence that a city and large university can work together,” Baisden said. “You can have a law-enforcement effort within a student living community and people get along. There should be no doubt in anybody’s mind that it can be done.”