Disorderly conduct increases from last St. Paddy’s day
People wish Sgt. Marc Smith a “Happy St. Patrick’s Day” on March 17, 2013, on M.A.C. Ave. During his ride, Smith got everything from well wishes to “I hate you” from people walking. Julia Nagy/The State News
Despite colder temperatures this St. Patrick’s Day weekend, twice as many people were arrested for disorderly conduct than last year and almost 30 more were given citations as students took to the streets to celebrate.
This year, East Lansing police recorded an increased number of overall calls, citations and arrests compared to St. Patrick’s Day weekend 2012.
MSU police said the number of St. Patrick’s Day crimes would not be available until later in the week, and the MSU Clery Crime and Fire Log had no logged activity since Thursday.
MSU police could not be reached by press time Monday to verify any issues with the crime log.
East Lansing police Sgt. Marc Smith said Sunday that during the day, 20 officers, not including those assisting from other local departments, were on road patrol — four times the typical amount.
Accounting senior Tara Stratford said the increased number of crimes recorded could have been because of what she believed was an increase in police presence on St. Patrick’s Day compared to the previous year.
Last year, a traffic post was pulled down by a St. Patrick’s Day celebrator and photos on social media showed bottles and debris in the streets.
“I think it was safer for people overall,” Stratford said of this year, adding the colder weather was actually a good thing for students. “People were less likely to walk around aimlessly.”
East Lansing police Capt. Jeff Murphy said although officers anticipated larger crowds partying Saturday, extra police officers assigned to work Sunday were kept busy in the afternoon.
“We did have extra police officers staffed for that day, so that helped to keep things calm,” Murphy said. “But what really helped was most of the people in town just a had a good time and didn’t get carried away and didn’t get out of hand.”
Compared to last year, this St. Patrick’s Day weekend East Lansing police cited 27 more people for disorderly conduct, seven more people each for open intoxication and minor in possession incidents and eight more people for noise violations.
Twice as many people as last year were arrested for disorderly conduct, up to 18 from nine. There were 31 fewer calls this year for party litter issues and minor in possession arrests had similar numbers both years.
Marketing sophomore Jaclyn Stelter said she was surprised by the heightened number of disorderly conduct and drinking related citations this year.
“I think less people went out because of the weather,” Stelter said. “Maybe the cops were trying to step up.”