Students have pretty good things to say about campus police and security, citing few incidents of unreasonableness or unjust treatment. But police are police, and blatant misconduct will land you in academic and legal trouble. While living in the dorms, you’ll most likely run into more trouble with your resident advisor than any other campus officer, so it’s important to stay on good terms with him or her. Stealing and cheating are the two most frequent on-campus infringements and are dealt with primarily by campus security, while drug use, theft, and assault are the biggest crimes in the city of Berkeley and are handled by the police. On campus, bike and laptop theft are the most common, and once it’s gone, you’re probably not going to ever see it again.
Berkeley is known for having somewhat lenient law enforcement when it comes to marijuana use, underage drinking, and drinking in public, but there are always the rare cases where police have to crack down, and a first-time offender can get in severe trouble. There are more prominent risks for students—muggings, street violence, etc.—and police don’t spend as much time on the smaller crimes that college students are prone to committing. Students are pretty happy with campus police because most officers understand that they’re dealing with college students and leave room for them to make some mistakes.