No party patrol for Spring Jam

MPD will have extra officers in the area, while UMPD will have 10 extra officers but nobody designated to stop parties.

Despite the expected increase in partying with the annual Spring Jam celebration this weekend, there will be no party patrol designated to stop house parties âÄî a concern for some neighborhood leaders. University of Minnesota Police Lt. Troy Buhta said the Minneapolis Police Department does not have the funds to support a party patrol for the weekend. However, MPD Sgt. Jesse Garcia said there will be extra officers on duty. Garcia said he could not say how many officers would be added this weekend, but they will monitor the neighborhoods for large-scale parties. âÄúThe extra cops will be for Spring Jam,âÄù Garcia said. âÄúThey want to make sure everybody has a safe and enjoyable time without going overboard.âÄù In the past, the party patrol has consisted of more than 20 officers driving around in pairs, looking for large-scale parties. Once they found them, they typically called for back-up and broke up the party. This weekend, the UMPD will have 10 extra officers on duty, but they will all be focused on the area around Coffman Union during the Spring Jam Block Party, Buhta said. None of the officers are designated to focus on house parties. The extra UMPD officers will be on the lookout for intoxicated students going to and from the concert, Buhta said. âÄúWeâÄôll just be going to the event, keeping it safe and making sure everyone has a good time there,âÄù Buhta said. Despite the heightened party potential, the UMPD will only have its normal patrol of four officers and a sergeant patrolling the rest of the campus over the weekend. Spring Jam may bring more parties, but the weather is what starts the parties, Southeast Como Improvement Association Director James De Sota said. The residents have come to expect more parties over the weekend, he said, but bad weather can help keep the students tame. âÄúI know a lot of residents look forward to a rainy weekend when Spring Jam comes around,âÄù De Sota said. âÄúIt definitely suppresses some of the wilder elements.âÄù De Sota said the parties have already started to increase and said there were more calls to police last weekend. Another local neighborhood, Prospect Park, may not be as infamous for student parties as Southeast Como or Marcy-Holmes, but the party scene could spread across campus, said Joe Ring, chairman of the Prospect Park East River Road Improvement Association livability committee. Ring said Prospect Park doesnâÄôt have anywhere near the amount of parties as other near-campus neighborhoods, but he supports any party patrol practices. As soon as students know the party patrol will not be present, Ring said, âÄúall hell will break loose.âÄù âÄúSome of the students want to party until the sun comes up, and, knowing thereâÄôs no consequences, they just donâÄôt care,âÄù he said. âÄúThey donâÄôt really care about anybody else.âÄù He said the party patrol helps keep everyone on notice, and not having a patrol will be damaging for the community. âÄúItâÄôs really detrimental not to have this, and I think itâÄôs definitely a step in the wrong direction,âÄù Ring said. Material science and engineering junior Jason Anderson said he believes police breaking up large, obnoxious parties is often necessary, but said the idea of officers driving around just looking for parties seems like a waste. The party patrol absence could result in a higher party turnout this weekend, Anderson, a Como resident, said. The lack of a patrol might not affect the number of parties, but Anderson thinks students may be more likely to go out. âÄúCollege students party if thereâÄôs cops or not,âÄù Anderson said. âÄúI think the only thing that will change is the attendance of parties.âÄù