Ankeny police provide information about calls to student apartments

An Ankeny police vehicle responds to a call at Campus Town, Monday, Nov. 3.

An Ankeny police vehicle responds to a call at Campus Town, Monday, Nov. 3.

The most common police response to student housing is “disturbing peace and quiet,” according to information from Ankeny police.

Campus Town, Campus View and Prairie Pointe are all considered student housing. All three apartments are relatively new. Campus View opened in 2012, while Campus Town and Prairie Pointe opened in 2013.

Ankeny Police Sergeant Scott Crouch provided some information about their visits, as well as contributing factors accounting for those numbers.

It is important to note that “calls for service,” include: Disturbing peace and quiet, illegal activity (e.g. Marijuana, alcohol), suspicion (e.g. Stolen items) and fights or disputes.   

Campus Town

According to Crouch, the first time Ankeny police responded to Campus Town was June 17, 2013. That year, they had 23 calls for service.

In 2014, that number increased to 58. Disturbing peace and quiet accounted for 24 of those calls, 11 for illegal activities, 5 for suspicion, and 6 for fight/disputes.   

Prairie Pointe

The first time Ankeny police were at Prairie Pointe was March 27, 2013. Prairie Pointe had 51 calls for service that year. That number went up to 79 in 2014. Disturbing peace and quiet accounted for 32 of those calls and 7 for illegal activities.

Campus View

Campus View had 61 calls for service in 2012, 56 in 2013 and 42 through 2014. Disturbing peace and quiet accounted for 41 of those calls, 19 were for illegal activities, 11 for suspicion, and 8 for fight/disputes.   

The calls tended to increase from year to year, except for Campus View where it had declined through 2014.

However, according to Crouch, these statistics are in line with other properties in town, student housing or not.

“One [category] I think is low for a two-year time period is fights/disputes. That is pretty low in my opinion when you have that many people living together in one location. That is not usual compared to other places in town,” he said.

What is on the rise are calls for underage drinking and marijuana.

Crouch said incidences like that are treated the same way everywhere.

“We handle those the same, whether it is a student housing situation or an apartment building five miles north of here.

“If it is a criminal offense, we deal with it the same way, student housing has nothing to do with it,” he said.

Crouch said the only time they get involved with students housing is with the RAs.

“They know things more, so they are more willing to pick up the phone and call the police. You don’t have that somewhere else off campus property,” he said.

Crouch acknowledged that social media plays a role in what they do.

Yik Yak is one way social media affects the size of parties in student housings, increasing its tendency to get out of hand.

Crouch said the app maybe useful to the police in some aspects, but just the knowledge of a party somewhere does not mean they would knock on the door.

“We need a complaint, another resident or an RA to call us if they are being too loud or if there are other reasons there other than just ‘hey there might be a party there.’ We are too busy to look at that kind of thing and go there and act on that alone,” he said.

However, he said it can be helpful for a sergeant to look at Yik Yak activity before a shift.

Although student housing is treated like any other residence, police tend to be more engaged there than other off-campus properties.

“Here in Ankeny, we like to think that we would work well with student housing. Again, we don’t view them any different than any other apartment community, except for they tend to be of a younger demographic than else where and that causes a little bit of more work on our part to address those issues,” Crouch said.

Crouch noted it is important to be good partners with managers in solving problems.

“We like to work with management and the RAs, have a good relationship and work together.

Most of the time issues we deal with are not necessarily law enforcement issues as they are management issues. They have a lot more authority to enforce rules that are not really laws, he added.

“We need a complaint, another resident or an RA to call us if they are being too loud or if there are other reasons there other than just ‘hey there might be a party there.’ We are too busy to look at that kind of thing and go there and act on that alone,” he said.

However, he said it can be helpful for a sergeant to look at Yik Yak activity before a shift.

Although student housing is treated like any other residence, police tend to be more engaged there than other off-campus properties. 

“Here in Ankeny, we like to think that we would work well with student housing. Again, we don’t view them any different than any other apartment community, except for they tend to be of a younger demographic than else where and that causes a little bit of more work on our part to address those issues,” Crouch said.

Crouch noted it is important to be good partners with managers in solving problems.

“We like to work with management and the RAs, have a good relationship and work together.

“Most of the time issues we deal with are not necessarily law enforcement issues as they are management issues. They have a lot more authority to enforce rules that are not really laws, he added.

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