Welcome Week, football games are busiest party days for ELPD
It’s a Friday night, fall courses resume on Monday and you just need a little fun before crunch time begins.
But as you enter the party and start your normal shenanigans, you see the flickering of bright red and blue lights through the window.
The police, again.
Welcome week at MSU has always been eventful during the day but at night, things get a little crazy and the East Lansing police have instances where they must step in and calm down situations.
East Lansing Police Department Interim Captain Steve Gonzalez said their department staffs up every year for the increase of parties and social activity throughout neighborhoods during the fall welcome week.
Agricultural industries sophomore Matthew Acmoody said he was at a party a couple of days ago and undercover cops showed up because there was open alcohol, but they weren’t in much trouble after police realized they were of age.
Lance Davenport, a fraternity brother at FarmHouse, said welcome week parties are something they have every year and some do get shut down by the police when things get out of hand.
“We do have several more officers working throughout the various times of the day to address the increase call load that we see,” Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez said for the most part their staffing numbers remain the same year-to-year during the welcome period, but there have been more police officers on bike patrol this year than in the past.
Although this period of the semester gets a little hectic for officers in East Lansing, Gonzalez said this is certainly not the busiest time of the year for them.
“When U-M is in town and there’s a home football U-M game that will certainly be our busiest day of the year, without a doubt,” he said.
According to Gonzalez, the Western Michigan and MSU home football game was a pretty busy weekend for the department.
“There were a lot of people in town that came to the football game and then the weather was nice as well,” he said.
Gonzalez said their busiest days fall somewhere in the football season, depending on the schedule.
The department sees a lot of both house and Greek organization parties in the East Lansing area, and it’s pretty well evenly distributed throughout the neighborhood, according to Gonzalez.
On a typical night that an officer gets a phone call concerning party complaints, the first thing the officer looks at is the noise ordinance, and determines whether or not the noise is coming from that property and the distance it can be heard.
Gonzalez said the officer will take in the circumstances of underage drinking, open alcohol in public, or disorderly conduct violations that may occur and make a decision to take enforcement or simply give a warning.
Gonzalez’ advice to the hosts of parties is to keep alcohol and the number of people on your property under control.
“We’ve been to parties with several hundred people stuffed into the house and then they end up (on the) front yard, back yard, side yards,” Gonzalez said.
“Those types of parties are certainly going to draw attention of the neighbors which generates a phone call to the police or it’s going to generate some attention to an officer that just happens to drive by on regular patrol.”
Gonzalez said they encourage people to have fun but to do it in a safe and responsible manner.