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It has been over one week since onlookers along University Drive were left in udder disbelief.

According to police, last Monday, members of a campus fraternity vomited milk off University Bridge onto traffic below, causing a car holding a woman and her young daughter to be involved in — and, we hope, not sustaining any long-term injuries in — a rear-end collision.

While police have not released any further information on the case, it would seem unlikely — about one or two percent unlikely — that the men responsible will not land in a gallon of trouble.

After all, news outlets big and small across the nation have picked up on the story —naturally milking it for all it is worth — leaving our University wholly embarrassed.

But, as the press shakes every last drop from this unfortunate story of campus crime, we have found it to be an exception, because — on a very positive note — crime rates are down on all four campuses between 2006 and 2007, according to ASU’s 2008 Crime Statistics Report.

The specific numbers in the report are somewhat misleading and hard to interpret — they are good because the decline happens at a time when student population increased but they are unconvincing because the decline could very well have happened due to a small police presence (and less personnel means less enforcement).

But overall, the outlook is positive.

For one thing, there was a drop in the number of reported violent crimes, such as aggravated assaults. According to Jay Spradling, ASU police’s assistant chief, the reduction is a positive indicator because “that’s something that’s not proactively enforced.”

But all numbers aside, we feel as though the ASU Police Department should be proud of their work over the past few years. Keeping the numbers within their current range while being horribly understaffed — so much so that we ran an editorial last semester (“No go for our po-po,” Jan. 15) decrying their officer shortage — is a fairly good accomplishment.

Sure, there is still a lot of crime, but at a University that is a city within a city, that is to be expected. Besides, there will always be exceptions to a society’s lawfulness. Just look at the milkmen and our friends at the top of our paper’s Page 2 every day.

But, staying positive, at least we have some reason to believe that the numbers will continue lowering — this semester, the police are better equipped to handle the student population.

They have finally settled in to their fancy new digs on College and Apache in Tempe, they have expanded their coverage on other campuses, they have a new influx of technology to aid the department’s communications, and, as Spradling said, their “staffing is considerably better this year than it has been in the past few years.”

With major deficiencies for the police in 2006 and 2007, the numbers did not spiral out of control. In 2008, with those deficiencies resolved, we would assume the crime rates will only go down and we can pat ASU police on the back for a job well done.

We look forward to — hopefully — honoring the continuation of this crime-reducing feat with the police at this time next year and showing the national press that some isolated illegal exploits should in no way define ASU.

This must happen, because until then, it seems the media will just continue crying over spilled milk.

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