Wednesday, March 10, 2010

KU and NU

A few weeks ago, Jesse Fray, a reporter at the World-Journal in Lawrence, Kansas contacted us.  He wanted to schedule an interview with me as part of a series the newspaper was writing about efforts in Lincoln to curb high-risk drinking by UNL students.  Apparently two KU students died in alcohol-related incidents last year, raising this issue onto the public agenda in Lawrence. 

We were happy to oblige, and Mr. Fray and a cameraman (the World-Journal and 6News are the same media organization) spent a few days in Lincoln in late February.  They did several interviews with a variety of community members, and also went on a late night tag-along with Sgt. Jason Goodwin. 

The resulting series of print and TV stories kicked off yesterday.  From the first couple of installments, I am impressed.  I will say, however, that I think we are getting more credit than is warranted. Although it is quite true that we are one of the few places in the United States that can demonstrate some progress in addressing this issue, it’s not like we don’t have plenty of our own problems.  When our local coalition, NU Directions, started this project in 1998, the Harvard College Alcohol Study showed that we were well above the average in binge drinking rates.  Essentially, we’ve brought that down to the average—which is still not exactly bragging material.  Nonetheless, I think our broad-based and sustained approach can be instructive to other communities and campuses. 

I’ve blogged on several occasions about our efforts to reduce the impact of high-risk drinking parties and unlawful activity at these parties.  This is one area where our success is particularly noteworthy.  I think that the main thing we can contribute to others dealing with this issue is the efficacy of engaging landlords, owners, and property managers.

Tomorrow morning at 1100 hours, I am the guest on a web chat hosted by the World-Journal.  If you’re really bored, feel free to join or lurk.  Somehow I’m not expecting an overflow crowd.


Anonymous said...

How many alcohol problems?
How many pot problems?
Aside from the fact that pot is not legal.
The govt gets money from alcohol, and the govt gets a pat on the back for keeping all the pot users shut down by busts. Who exactly are they(govt) fooling? (OMG, they,pot users) are sooo much a danger)I know you people are educated, the brain should replace the M8B
Back to dorkville.
Signed, former pot smoker.

Anonymous said...

How many bar checks or liquor selectives were ran last year or in 2008? Comments on the Lawrence newspaper website indicate Lawrence PD did 600 bar checks last year and that that far outdid LPD's efforts. I'm guessing LPD does that many in a month.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if you are a fan or if you heard it, but This American Life did a pretty good segment on it and actually cited Lincoln, NE as a success in curbing binge drinking.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you should talk about how no one has ever died from marijuana. Maybe you should talk about how you just busted three grow house in your city, do you think they alcohol related incidents will go up since you took away a safe alternative? Maybe you should look at and join LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition). Any reasonable person can see that it is worse for the community and country for marijuana to be illegal. As a police chief you have some say in this issue. You can legalize/decriminalize it in the city by voicing your opinion like many other chiefs have done across the country and reduce crime in your city, increase education and improve living conditions through taxes and regulation. Or do you care about these things, scared of your reputation? I guess alcohol is legal and it f*cks up the community and people worse than any other drug out there so it is good that you are campaigning against that, but more young people get their lives ruined by marijuana than alcohol not because it harms them but because of the laws around the drug that you and your officers enforce. I don't know how you sleep at night sometimes. If you can find a single piece of evidence (legit) that proves me wrong on my points show it!

Anonymous said...

Look, the LEAP guys are back again. You know, LEAP, they're a lot like "Union of Concerned Scientists", in that the vast majority of their members aren't current/former sworn law enforcement or prosecutors, just like the vast majority of UCS's members aren't scientists by any stretch of the imagination.

When you point this out, that most of their membership is plain old dopers that never wore a badge, they quickly try to change the subject! Of course they do. The "LE" part of LEAP is just there to give it a thin veneer of credibility, and thin it is. The dopers are there to boost their numbers, and make it seem that their ranks are filled with current/former LE. It's so cheesy.

Anonymous said...

Here's a previous post where LEAP got called out in the comments, regarding the vastly non-LE majority of their members. Notice that when directly asked about exact numbers of LE and non-LE members, they just went poof and disappeared.

Anonymous said...

I too notice a large number of postings that ask "Any drugs involved"?
If you take away the alcohol, most crimes would have NO drugs involved.
We view alcohol as a legal way to "get some ease" and comfort.
Often used in justification way'
" I enjoy a beer with pizza"
I see the point of the pro pot people.
but the "I have a beer once or twice a year bunch" I just do not get. A DRUG is a DRUG. But you all use it safe so that makes it ok?

Our laws make no sense and cost us huge amounts of money.
Thats all, I have to go put lip stick on a pig...will it still be a pig?

Anonymous said...

Still waiting for you to prove me wrong...oh wait you can't so you resort to bashing LEAP for fear of seeing you are wrong

Anonymous said...


I'm still waiting for a proportional and numerical breakdown of LEAP membership, both the vast majority who are not and never have been sworn LE, and the small minority who are current or former sworn LE. You're the one that brought that crackpot doper group to the conversation, so the next move is yours, not mine.

Anonymous said...

I always have this response for those who want to legalize marijuana because alcohol is legal. One only has to look at our country's failed alcohol policy, the damage it has done to the country in both lives and dollars, and the people it has destroyed. Why in the world would we want to repeat that error by legalizing marijuana? Answer that LEAP.

Anonymous said...


So far I haven't seen the Chief bashing LEAP. You write like you may have an anger issue. Most of the potheads I know seem to be a little more laid-back and accepting of the opinions of others.

Here's my opinion. Alcohol is legal and taxed. Pot is illegal and untaxed. Is that right or wrong? I don't know. But as long as it is that way, people in law enforcement will enforce the laws. Run for the legislature and try to change the law. Or move to Lawrence. They may be a little more tolerant there.


Jeremy said...

Anonymous at 1048:
Last I checked the Chief of Police doesn't have any say as to what should be legal or illegal. I think the group of people that does that is called our...what is it...Legislature. Don't be upset with Law Enforcement for doing their job...get it "Law" "Enforcement".
And don't for one second blame Law Enforcement for the fact that some young adults are being punished for doing something illegal. Last I checked no ones life is being "ruined" for smoking dope anyway. The only ones that do hard time are those that are caught with a whole marijuana operation.
And in conclusion, you ask that the Chief responds with evidence, but your comment had no such evidence that validates your "opinion"

Tom Casady said...


I never answered your question. I've been busy, and I apologize for overlooking that. In 2009, our officers reported 7,887 bar checks.

Anonymous said...

Looks like local weed prices will spike a little more than they already have, as well as being more difficult to find. When I saw it was on the 1900 block of Connie, I knew it'd be 1921, because all the other houses on the block but one (with Lincoln landlord) were owner-occupied, with 1921 having an absentee LL from Texas, just like the absentee LL that rented to the dealer on the 3000 block of Pioneers.

Here's something you can do - go here and look at who owns the houses on your block. Find the ones that are not owner-occupied. Then see which of those are owned by a distant LL. These are especially choice locations for dealers and growers.

Sometimes even a nearby LL, like the one who had/has the house in Colonial Hills where LPD found the Dogwood Dope Farm. They bought the house, but had a hard time selling their place in a small town just East of here, so they rented the house on Dogwood out to defray double payments, but their renters turned out to be dope farmers.

On rare occasion, even owners can deal or grow/manufacture. There was a owner who got busted for running a small (about a dozen plants) farm in his own house, just a few blocks south of College View, in peaceful RD 105.

Anonymous said...

Correction, RD 105 is North of College View, not South. I might need to take an orienteering refresher course. When the M8B is in the shop, I'm off-kilter.