Would Using Student Informants Help Indiana Campus Police Uncover Bigger Drug Problems?

A whistleblower

Drug abuse and related issues are a major cause for concern in the United States. Drug addiction continues to grow throughout the country in spite of efforts by public and private organizations. Prescription drug abuse is a growing issue in the country, which is causing more destruction than any other controlled substance. In the educational community drug abuse has and continues to be a concern for governing entities. Police forces continue to struggle enforcing laws and investigating the drug arena. What has made their job even more difficult has been the increase in legal marijuana and the rise in prescription drug abuse. The goal of any agency is to protect the public from the dangers of drugs. The rise in drug related injury and overdose requires new strategies for police investigations, but how far is too far? Should student informants be used by Indiana campus police? Would using student informants help Indiana campus police uncover bigger drug problems?

Indiana Drug Issues on the Rise

There were 16 overdose deaths per 100,000 people in Indiana, which makes it the 15th highest in the country from 2011 to 2013. Relying on the three year sample sizes, Indiana’s drug overdose death rate has increased from the previous three years at which time it had 13 deaths per 100,000 making it the 20th highest drug overdose death rate state. This rise makes Indiana seem really bad, but nationally the drug overdose death rate has continued to increase to the point where it has now doubled in the rate of 14 years. It has gotten to the point that it now outranks deaths as a result of motor vehicle accidents; which is not the result of motor vehicle deaths declining. Half of all overdose deaths are the direct result of prescription drugs. The misuse of prescription drugs has also lead to the rise in heroin abuse and addiction in the nation. Most prescription drug abusers turn to heroin because it is much cheaper, easier to get and stronger. Drug arrests on campus are every day occurrences, but is it a problem? Purdue had 140 student arrests for drug law violations in 2010. Indiana University records for drug arrests and other related incidents are difficult to obtain, which leads to another problem with campus police.

Would Using Student Informants Help Campus Police?

Any help that the University could get would be beneficial. There is no doubt that an underground drug industry runs through the school. Surrounding area drug dealers prey on these young college students because they know they have money and are looking to experiment. More often than not, these young students are more than willing to experiment with drugs and alcohol. It is a dangerous practice that continues to live on despite education and drug prevention techniques. Student informants can help campus police investigate drug related issues and gain insight into the minds of college students.

Should Campus Police Use Student Informants?

Any information that could help campus police reduce the negative effects of drug abuse on campus should be gained. Using students as informants is a helpful for drug investigation, but at what cost. Preventing students from falling victim to drug addiction and harm through overdose is and should always be the most important goal. Unfortunately, there have been many issues with campus police over using their authority in the University setting as a result of their ‘grey’ area jurisdiction and lack of accountability. The private police forces of campuses have allowed many campus police forces to work ‘outside the law’. There have even been cases of students being blackmailed with expulsion and jail time to be informants. These students are forced to be involved in drug stings, which have ended in death. Campus police authority should be limited to the campus and strictly held accountable for their actions. Any student with information about drug issues should speak to an authority figure, but should also be hesitant with a police officer who threatens them at the very same time. All Americans have rights and college students are granted the same rights as everyone else.

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