ASU Semester Starts Off With 392 Arrests by Tempe Police Task Force

A police task force in Tempe focused on alcohol-related crimes made 392 arrests over the weekend, which was the first weekend since the fall semester started at Arizona State University.

This is the second year that the Tempe Police Department has organized its "Safe and Sober" campaign at the start of ASU's fall semester. Over a stretch of three weekends last year, more than 1,300 people were arrested.

The 392 arrests over the weekend was an increase over the same weekend last year, which ended with 371 arrests.

"We have more agencies -- quite a few more agencies -- participating this year," Tempe Police Lieutenant Mike Pooley tells New Times.

See also: -2013: Task Force Makes 1,367 Arrests

Including Tempe PD, there are 18 law-enforcement agencies participating in the campaign, which is scheduled to last through September 6. The operation is funded through a grant from the Governor's Office of Highway Safety.

This weekend's arrests included 146 DUI arrests, 112 arrests for minors consuming alcohol, 35 more for minors possessing alcohol, and 99 arrested for other offenses.

Police didn't have any major Animal House-style shenanigans to report, although there was one notable incident at the University House, a new apartment building on Veterans Way, across the street from Sun Devil Stadium.

Pooley says officers had responded to break up parties at the building on Saturday night, and while one officer's patrol car was parked on College Avenue, someone on the 18th or 19th floor of the building tossed beer bottles at the car. No arrests were made.

There was also another incident early Friday at another apartment complex where people were throwing beer cans and cups at security guards, Pooley says.

As was the case last year, police expect to make more arrests in the coming weekends.

"Thursday's football game will be a big predictor of how things go," Pooley says.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley