A Minneapolis police officer told Como neighborhood leaders Monday night that their proposed Safety and Livability committee, aimed at combatting area parties, could not provide resources necessary to do so and a larger contingency is needed.
Officer Craig Stoddard said a group including key figures such as University officials, police and public officials would better serve to curb those parties.
Stoddard said community organizations, along with police, could make use of party information data sheets, currently under review by a city attorney, to track and monitor party houses. That information would make it easier to establish action plans, Stoddard said.
The party data sheets would be used to track police responses to parties. If a residence accumulates three sheets indicating a party occurred, Stoddard said, police will contact the property owner.
He said the party information data should also be used by community groups in the Marcy Holmes and Como neighborhoods to establish a monthly list of the top ten party houses. Stoddard said that after a zero-tolerance is imposed on those marked residences, greater headway will be made in reducing parties.
Lastly, Stoddard said a proposal to develop a team of officers to make mass arrests at parties at the start of the fall and spring semesters would help curb future parties.
When a student asked on what basis can those arrests be made, Stoddard said, “We can arrest people for virtually anything.”
The Southeast Como Improvement Association implemented the zero-tolerance party policy in conjunction with a Minneapolis Police Department “buy-back” program earlier this month.
The policy specifies that residents will be immediately ticketed when “buy-back” police, hired by SECIA to patrol for weekend parties, arrive at the scene.
Community members at a SECIA meeting Monday night agreed the conflict over parties stems from a lack of communication with students on neighborhood issues.
Area resident Chris Nelson, a junior in management information systems, said he went to the meeting because he was never notified of a problem with parties until after the zero-tolerance policy had been implemented, and he wanted to be involved.
Nelson said open communication with the neighborhood is imperative to avoid any future problems.
Some community members’ goals include educating the neighborhood about city codes and ordinances and maintaining community dialogue.
Cari Lelonek, a Como resident, said student parties are inevitable.
“It’s to be expected they’re going to have parties; it’s a college area,” she said.
Lelonek suggested local residents politely ask students who throw parties to respect the neighborhood and stay quiet.
Robyn Repya covers East Bank neighborhoods and welcomes comments at [email protected]