ST. CLOUD -- The time of backpacks, books and studying is upon us, as students head back to school this weekend.

While many students will be adjusting to a new school lifestyle, local police are reminding students, they are also adjusting to a new community.

Lieutenant Lori Ellering with the St. Cloud police department says they put forth a lot of effort getting to know the students and talking with them about the expectations of becoming a member of the community.

We literally go door to door in the college and campus area, with flyers and informational packets about how to be safe, how to be responsible and what the rules are.

The stigma of St. Cloud State University being known as a party school has gone down over the last five years. Statistics show on move-in weekend alone, citations have dropped from 223 in 2014 to just 75 last year.

Ellering credits their programs at the Community OutPost and their Diversion Program with SCSU.

With the program, if a student does slip up, gets a minor, it gives them a second chance. They go through an education component to learn about the dangers of alcohol, and how to keep a clean record in the future so they can get their college degree.

Ellering says they understand mistakes can be made and adds if a student finds themselves in a tight spot, don't hesitate to call the police for help.

If they've been drinking alcohol or minor drugs are involved they can still call for help. If they call for help right away and they cooperate with police we're not going to charge them, we can't criminally charge anyone with those offenses by statute.

St. Cloud State University officially begins the school year Monday.

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