A Police Officer Speaks Up
University police officers often awkwardly hover between their knowledge of campus alcohol consumption and their compulsion to enforce the law. This paradox silences many people that might otherwise reveal salient information on the effectiveness of our society’s current approach to alcohol.
Timothy Faughnan, Binghampton University’s police chief, broke this silence to the school’s newspaper in an article about his 30 years as a university police officer published today. Faughnan concedes that he cannot easily take a firm stand on MLDA21, but he also notes the shift in campus climate after the drinking age was raised,
What the change in drinking age did on this campus and a lot of campuses is that it sent a lot of the alcohol consumption deeper underground or off campus, where the University really doesn’t have an ability to control or monitor it while it is taking place. We as a university lost something. We lost a measure of control when the drinking age changed. [Drinking] doesn’t occur in our presence anymore.
Chief Faughnan’s willingness to speak candidly on the subject of college drinking empowers the conversation about the effectiveness of MLDA21 and the health and safety of college students.