Police will be on alert
West Chester police to crack down on homecoming partiers
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.”