Statewide drug seizures rise, campus numbers remain consistent

Though Minnesota reported high numbers of drug seizures, the University’s drugs seizures stayed flat.

The new University of Minnesota Police Department squad car.

Travis Norenberg

The new University of Minnesota Police Department squad car.

Olivia Johnson

Minnesota police
seized more drugs than ever before in 2016, according to the Minnesota
Department of Public Safety.

A record 488
pounds of meth were seized in 2016, according to a press release. Though the
numbers are extremely high statewide, the University of Minnesota Police
Department’s drug seizures have stayed consistent over the last three years.

UMPD Lt. Troy
Buhta said drug seizures most often take place when there is a sale of drugs on
campus streets or in a University-owned residence. Officers also do traffic
stops if students are seen using or carrying illegal substances.

“We haven’t had
any huge cases where we’re seizing a bunch of property,” he said. “In [2017],
we’ve only had about three or four of these drug seizure type cases anyway.”

Buhta said he
hasn’t seen drug seizures reach a concerning level, adding that drug seizures
are not a primary focus of the UMPD, whose jurisdiction includes any University
property.

According to UMPD
data from the last three years, nearly a quarter of seizures have been at
residence halls, and a majority of those drugs have been marijuana.