Increased illegal drinking puts more police on campus

Britt Johnsen

After last weekend’s increased presence on and around campus, University police reported Monday they arrested seven individuals, including two for driving while intoxicated.

They also issued 129 citations, including 23 for open bottles and 79 minor consumption violations.

Due to the large volume of illegal drinking, University and Minneapolis police officials said students and residents can expect to see a continued presence during the next couple of weekends.

“The word needs to be out that everyone can have a good time,” said Ron Reier, the Minneapolis police public information officer. “But when the line is crossed from lawful to unlawful, we won’t tolerate it.”

On Friday and Saturday, Minneapolis and University police, along with the Minnesota State Patrol, worked together on Operation NightCAP – Nighttime Concentrated Alcohol Patrol.

The collaborative effort added an additional four officers to the University’s four-member weekend night shift. University police had an officer walking around residence halls checking for illegal activity. Minneapolis police had more than 20 officers on duty, up from the usual eight, Reier said.

“If we didn’t have a need,

we wouldn’t have the officers,” Reier said.

During a party on 11th Avenue Southeast and Fifth Street Southeast in Dinkytown on Sunday morning, 12 police surrounded a house party and arrested approximately 30 individuals for minor consumption, University student Megan Eddy said. Eddy said she was ticketed for underage drinking.

“It was a little bit ridiculous,” Eddy said. “It was just a house party. It was totally innocent.”

Eddy, whose 21st birthday is two months away, said increased law enforcement will not deter underage drinking. She said alcohol consumption is one of many inevitable college activities.

“It’s not going to make me want to not drink and not go out,” Eddy said. “It just feels like they’re all out to get us.”

Before school started, police distributed flyers and brochures describing the penalties for alcohol-related crimes. The information was given to students and residents of apartment complexes and houses around campus, Reier said.

“We want our streets, our residents and the public of Minneapolis to feel safe,” Reier said.