Police prepare to increase patrols during St. Patrick's Day 2019
Central Michigan University and Mount Pleasant Police Departments are having more officers on staff this weekend during St. Patrick's Day festivities.
According to MPPD Public Information Officer David Vandyke, extra officers will be on duty during the weekend in anticipation of bigger crowds and parties around the city.
“Police officers will be patrolling around the city to make sure that there are no nuisance parties going on and that people are acting appropriately,” Vandyke said. “That includes making sure no one is fighting, driving drunk, acting overly-intoxicated or illegally drinking.”
House parties are expected. However, if the parties conflict with city ordinances, those at the party could be cited, or even arrested, for being a part of a nuisance party. Vandyke said that the department has a zero-tolerance policy on nuisance parties.
“For a party not to be labeled as a nuisance party, there are many rules. A few of the rules are to not have opened alcoholic beverages being consumed in a public area, a party shouldn’t play music loud enough to be heard 50 feet from the residence, the property can’t be trashed or have indoor furniture on it,” he said.
Find out more about what constitutes a nuisance party on the City of Mount Pleasant webpage.
Vandyke recommends that people who are legally able to drink should party and drink responsibly.
Partygoers should know their limit when drinking during the weekend and have a designated sober friend or contact to make sure they aren’t acting irrationally during the party and to safely bring them home afterward, he said. Police recommend to designate a sober friend to stay at the party to keep everyone safe.
“We just want people to be aware of themselves and limit their alcohol consumption so they don’t make any bad decisions,” Vandyke said. “Obey city ordinances and laws so we can keep them safe. The last thing we want is for someone to make a bad decision and fight or walk or drive drunk and get hurt.”
CMUPD will also be ramping up the number of officers on patrol during the holiday weekend. CMUPD warned that the weather may affect the number of calls the department receives.
“Much like a lot of the other big weekends like Welcome Week and big football games like Western, we recognize that it’s a big holiday,” said CMUPD Lt. Cameron Wassman. “But the busyness of the holiday also depends on the day that it falls on and what the temperature is going to be like.”
With St. Patrick’s Day falling on a Sunday this year, Wassman said that the department may receive calls complaining about intoxicated students in classrooms or dorm rooms the Thursday or Friday before the weekend.
“In the past, we’ve received calls of intoxicated students disrupting classes or passing out in class, and that’s the kind of thing that we want to avoid happening,” he said.
If an intoxicated student is found on campus or in their halls, the officers will handle the situation as usual by writing them a ticket or arresting them if they are causing a disturbance.
In the past, CMUPD has offered some of their officers to pair up with MPPD officers to patrol the city and around the bars that will be participating in the “St. Practice Day” celebration happening on March 16.
“If you are 21, be responsible, don’t cause a disturbance — just follow the rules, have fun and be safe,” Wassman said. “We want our students safe, so if you go out with friends, then come back with them and if you see someone that needs help, then help them.”