Like many of Athens’ businesses, local law enforcement reported that the summer was slow, featuring different types of crimes than when school is in session.
A total of 23 burglaries, 18 assaults, 13 alcohol-related offenses, 13 drug-related offenses and three robberies accumulated from June 8 to mid-August, according to crime records from the Athens Police Department and the Ohio University Police Department.
Still, with fewer students in town, crime levels dropped off significantly, said OUPD Police Chief Andrew Powers.
“There aren’t that many people in town, on campus (during the summer),” Powers said. “The level of (criminal) activity is directly proportionate to the number of people in the population. We still had some activity, just not as much.”
APD Police Chief Tom Pyle agreed that while Ohio University’s regular school year is in session, more crimes occur, adding that with each term, different types of offenses take place.
“When school is in session, there are ... more minor offenses,” Pyle said. “In the summer ... we do seem to have the same amount of major crimes.”
For instance, during Ohio University’s regular school year, alcohol-related offenses and thefts are two of the most common crimes, but during the summer months, they are more rare, Pyle said. As a result, attention shifts to bigger offenses like burglaries and robberies, he said.
“We have more time to work on (burglaries and robberies) and deter them because we’re not so tied up with other maintenance-type crimes during the summer,” Pyle said.
Despite some significant crimes, Pyle said this summer was no different than in the past, adding that the OUPD and APD worked together to keep the city safe.
“I like to think we have a handle on things most of the time,” Pyle said. “You never know what’s going to happen in this town, but in this line of work, nothing really shocks us that much.”