The Logan Township Police Department in Altoona has arrested 57 Penn State Altoona students since Aug. 21 -- a dramatic increase from three students arrested at this point last year.
Logan Township Police Chief Ron Heller said most of the arrests are in connection with drinking violations.
"Penn State was named the
No. 1 party school," Heller said. "I don't know if they're trying to live up to that title or not."
Heller said township meetings were packed all summer with residents complaining about off-campus student conduct. He said complaints included littering and loud parties.
As a result, police started the year very aggressively, cracking down on students. Residents have also been reporting issues more often this school year, he said.
Penn State Altoona student Eric Sales (junior-psychology) said he believes the police are unfairly targeting parties to send a message throughout the community.
"They're screwing over the kids who want to have fun but are still taking their college career seriously," Sales said. "It's unfair. There can be a party and there are 10 people there drinking and having fun, but the police will come up there and arrest everyone."
Sales said the police are going to every single apartment, looking to bust students. To him, it seems like the police force's presence on and off campus has grown since last year. Director of Penn State Altoona University Relations Shari Routch said the university supports the efforts of the local police force.
"We want our students to learn early in the semester that this is unacceptable behavior and there are consequences," Routch said.
She said though there were numerous arrests, it doesn't signify an increase in drinking. She said she hopes students will learn their lesson and make better choices throughout the semester.
Penn State student Tiffany Robinson, who transferred from Altoona to University Park this year, said she's noticed the increase in security on the campus since last year. Logan Township Police are a bigger presence on campus, she said.
"People have been getting dumber and dumber," Robinson said. "It doesn't surprise me they're cracking down."