Po­lice will be on alert

West Ch­ester po­lice to crack down on home­com­ing partiers

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Michael P. Rel­la­han mrel­la­han@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @Ch­escoCourtNews on Twit­ter

WEST CH­ESTER >> In the wake of a par­tic­u­larly rowdy home­com­ing week­end at West Ch­ester Univer­sity last fall, the bor­ough’s po­lice depart­ment is warn­ing this year’s at­ten­dees that it will be ag­gres­sively tar­get­ing al­co­hol and al­co­hol-re­lated of­fenses dur­ing the up­com­ing fes­tiv­i­ties.

In a let­ter from Chief Scott Bohn posted on the depart­ment’s Face­book page, the depart­ment stated that any­one ob­served to be pub­licly in­tox­i­cated would be sub­ject to ar­rest and de­ten­tion “un­til

safe to re­lease.”

Said Bohn, “We are rec­om­mend­ing min­i­mum fines of $500, plus associated costs for un­der­age al­co­hol vi­o­la­tions. Ad­di­tion­ally, the univer­sity will be no­ti­fied of all ar­rests and in­di­vid­u­als will face dis­ci­plinary ac­tion at the univer­sity.”

The home­com­ing cel­e­bra­tion is set for Satur­day, with events on-and-off cam­pus. With the event draw­ing more and more par­tic­i­pants, this year’s home­com­ing could at­tract record num­bers as the foot­ball game will fea­ture the WCU Golden Rams against cross­county ri­val, the Wolves of Cheyney Univer­sity.

In Oc­to­ber of 2015, the bor­ough po­lice handed out more than 50 summary ci­ta­tions for nui­sance and al­co­hol-re­lated vi­o­la­tions dur­ing the home­com­ing week­end. The ci­ta­tions were mostly for un­der­age drink­ing and public drunk­en­ness, and in­cluded in­ci­dents in which those cited were re­ported too in­tox­i­cated to stand on their own, vom­ited on them­selves, ver­bally abused po­lice and emer­gency re­spon­ders, or had par­ties that were too loud.

Court ob­servers said the num­ber of ci­ta­tions is­sued were un­usu­ally large for a nor­mal fall week­end, and that the crowds in down­town West Ch­ester and its sur­round­ing neigh­bor­hoods were greater than seen pre­vi­ously.

West Ch­ester Univer­sity home­com­ing events typ­i­cally in­clude a Satur­day morn­ing pa­rade, a foot­ball game at Far­rell Sta­dium, as well as cam­pus re­unions, con­certs and mix­ers.

But there are also nu­mer­ous off-cam­pus par­ties, and crowds of cur­rent and for­mer WCU stu­dents lin­ing up to visit bars and restau­rants in the bor­ough’s pop­u­lar down­town area. So­cial me­dia also brings peo­ple from out­side the WCU com­mu­nity to the bor­ough for events.

Bohn seemed to rec­og­nize the grow­ing pop­u­lar­ity of the event. The weather is ex­pected to be con­ducive to out­door events from Fri­day through Sun­day, al­low­ing rev­el­ers to roam the streets and hop from party to party.

“Ev­ery fall, West Ch­ester Univer­sity stu­dents, alumni, fac­ulty, staff, par­ents, friends, and com­mu­nity mem­bers come to­gether to cel­e­brate the WCU ex­pe­ri­ence and all our great univer­sity has to of­fer,” states the Oct. 13 let­ter posted on Face­book. “The home­com­ing ex­pe­ri­ence has grown over the years, and this year’s cel­e­bra­tion prom­ises to be greater. The univer­sity and bor­ough rec­og­nize and en­cour­age re­spon­si­ble so­cial in­ter­ac­tion and school spirit.”

Bohn is­sued the fol­low­ing rec­om­men­da­tions for peo­ple com­ing to the bor­ough this week­end.

“Fol­low all park­ing reg­u­la­tions or your car may be towed. Emer­gency ve­hi­cles must be able to get through streets and around cor­ners.

“Man­age the size of your party and be care­ful what and how events are posted to so­cial me­dia.

“You are re­spon­si­ble for the be­hav­ior of your guests on your prop­erty and can be charged with pro­vid­ing al­co­hol to mi­nors ($1,000 fine per per­son), noise vi­o­la­tions and more,” he warned.

“Man­age your­self when out in public,” the let­ter states. “Any­one who is pub­licly in­tox­i­cated may be ar­rested and held un­til safe to re­lease. Re­spect our neigh­bor­hoods. Ex­ces­sive noise and dis­or­derly be­hav­ior will not be tol­er­ated.”

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