Volume 79, Issue 14
February 8, 2008

Roderick Voices Concern About Student Drug Use

Elm Staff Writer

"We have concerns about drug use in general and indicators are coming back that drug use may be rising amongst students," said Jerry Roderick, Director of Public Safety.

"How significant that rise is, I don't know...but it concerns me when I'm hearing more and more feedback about drugs being out there," Roderick added.

One such incident that Roderick considers to be a "very serious case" occured on November 30, 2007.

It involved legally detaining seven men and one woman, some being Washington College students, at 521 Washington Avenue.

Public Safety is the first department notified when an event such as this occurs. It is then turned over to WC administration and senior staff members.

The individuals included Alexander Hanlen, 20, Samuel Little, 21, Phillip Doccolo, 22, Jason Price,22, Keith Webber, 20, Henry Manship, 24, Chris Harvey, 21, and Carey Walden, 21.

According to the defendants' files in the Kent County Court House, an approximate total of 21.9 grams of marijuana were found at the residency along with approximately 50 glass-smoking devices.

According to Lieutenant Scott Metzbower of the Kent Bureau of Investigation, citizen complaints sparked the investigation of the residence.

Metzbower said that it took months of preparation and mounting evidence until there was enough probable cause to search the premises the night of Nov. 30.

Once inside, the individuals were "detained," according to Metzbower.

"I would say it's of serious magnitude any time we're dealing with drugs," Metzbower added.

Roderick sees the event as being a good reminder to the campus that it's an issue taken very seriously.

He also said that, "We've had people in this community die from drugs recently, young people. And they were not intentional deaths. These were casual users overdosing. And it can't happen," said Roderick.

"Obviously the initial charges [of the 11/30 incident] that came out would indicate it to be a very serious case...people often tend to overlook the risk factor in using illegal drugs," said Roderick.

Additional reporting by Katie Blaha, News Editor, and Katherine Honold, Editor-in-Chief