Livability efforts build on success; more to do

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Oregon State University, Corvallis-area property managers, neighborhood partners and the city of Corvallis continue to collaborate on livability issues related to enrollment growth — and the effort is showing results.

According to the 2015 community livability report, the number of quality-of-life crimes has fallen dramatically since 2012. As of September 2015, there have been 913 livability crimes reported by the Corvallis Police Department, a 60 percent decrease from the 2012 total of 2,305. Meanwhile, the number of off-campus student conduct code allegations managed by Oregon State decreased by 38 percent from 2013 to 2014.

Carl Yeh, director of Oregon State’s office of student conduct, recently told the Corvallis Gazette-Times these results are “positive and substantial.”

“It’s a fact that livability crime continues to decline. These are all good signs,” he says. “And it’s a testament to the work that OSU, the city and the Corvallis Police Department are doing to educate students on what is appropriate behavior off campus.”

The livability improvements are the result of new university staff focused on student conduct and community outreach, new city ordinances with stiffer penalties for livability crimes and a cooperative effort with property managers and landlords to hold tenants accountable for their behavior.

“We recognize that we have more to do, and Oregon State is committed to additional efforts,” says Jonathan Stoll, director of Corvallis Community Relations at Oregon State.

To continue that progress, the Corvallis Police Department has added three community livability officers. Trevor Anderson, James Dodge and Luke Thomas spend about 25 percent of their patrols on foot and bikes, a return to the practice of police officers walking a beat.

Dodge told the Gazette-Times the goal is to be proactive by working with university leaders and students.

“It goes beyond just taking a call and busting a party,” he says. “We want to handle issues before they happen.”

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