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94 charged during Shippensburg Homecoming weekend

September 29, 2004|by DON AINES

SHIPPENSBURG, Pa. - Pennsylvania State Police participated in an "enforcement blitz" during Homecoming weekend at Shippensburg University, resulting in dozens of arrests, mostly for underage drinking.

Sgt. Steve Junkin at the Carlisle, Pa., barracks said state police arrested 94 people in Shippensburg Township between Thursday, Sept. 23, and Sunday. He said the township, which is under state police jurisdiction, is home to many of the university's fraternity houses and off-campus housing complexes.

Fifty-one people were charged with underage drinking, police said. Nineteen people were charged with disorderly conduct, 14 with public drunkenness, three with driving under the influence, three with scattering rubbish and one with carrying false identification, police said.

One person was charged with escape and carrying false identification, another with escape and resisting arrest and one with fleeing and eluding police, police said.

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Figures on arrests by Shippensburg University police and Shippensburg borough police were not available Tuesday.

"For years ... there's been a certain amount of tolerance" of misbehavior by students and other young people, Junkin said. Police, however, have begun to crack down on behavior that "is making life miserable for township residents," he said.

Junkin said these problems were becoming pocketbook issues for some township residents because of the impact on property values. "Who wants to move in next to a house full of partying college students?" he said.

"The emphasis of the enforcement blitz was on alcohol-related offenses, as well as those criminal acts which degrade the quality of the Shippensburg community such as obscene language, loud noise, littering, public urination and fighting," according to the state police news release. Uniformed and plainclothes officers took part in the patrols, police said.

Residents were warned the enforcement effort was coming, Junkin said. A letter forewarning residents was drafted and troopers went to as many houses in the area as possible, "particularly those we know as 'problem children,'" he said.

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