The Observer is a student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame, Saint Mary's & Holy Cross. Learn about us.



Anger at SB Police is hypocritical

Ryan Kreager | Wednesday, September 1, 2010

To Joe Deter, and everyone else outraged by the underage drinking busts happening around town:

A lot of ink has been spilled expressing rage over the South Bend police spending all their time busting underage drinkers instead of stopping armed robberies, dealing with more serious crime, etc. The number of drinking arrests is up, and students are scared that visiting any off-campus party might lead to a visit downtown.

But consider this: if all the effort put forth to express your disgust with the police was instead spent encouraging underage students not to drink, the police would not have to waste their time on lesser crimes. If the lesser crime was not taking place, they would not have to deal with it in the first place. If they stumble upon an out-of-control party (as they did this past weekend), they have a moral responsibility to investigate and handle the situation in accord with the law. And it is good that they do: the last thing you want is for officers to start playing judge and deciding what crimes to simply ignore.

For some reason, however, the students who have expressed their anger over such actions see no moral responsibility to prevent these situations from happening in the first place. It seems pretty clear that if there was no underage drinking (which is against the law, in case you forgot), there would be no underage drinking busts, and the cops would have that much more time to serve and protect against more serious crimes. Doing nothing to prevent underage drinking (or outright encouraging it), and then being angry over the fact that the police must then handle it is hypocrisy of the highest order.


Ryan Kreager

graduate student


Aug. 31