How strict the campus seems depends on whether you are looking at VUPD or Judicial Board policies and punishments (out of dorm vs. in dorm). VUPD handles drug and alcohol issues both in and out of the dorms, but the RAs and the dorm J-Boards handle other serious and non-serious write-ups. Each J-Board is a group of students elected by the dorm to hand out punishments for noise violations, alcohol use, curfew violations, and door propping. The J-Board punishments are notoriously more lenient than those handed out by VUPD.
Punishments from J-Board could be simply writing an essay on why what you did is wrong and why the rule is necessary. More serious crimes are handled by the VUPD. Many students will complain about the policies if caught drinking. If the police catch you, they will take you to jail where you sit for six hours before bail can be posted. There used to be a saying that "you haven't experienced Valpo until you've been arrested." Your record can be expunged with some community service and classes, though.
Overall, people complain about the police often, but they do increase the safety around campus. Most people feel that the police affect campus in a positive way as long as you learn to respect the rules, or at least be prepared to accept the consequences.