ELPD Pleased With Welcome Week Stats

By: Lauren Zakalik Email
By: Lauren Zakalik Email

Living in a college neighborhood for the past decade, Jennifer BeGole has seen her share of welcome week chaos.

"A girl had a little too much to drink," she recalls of a time a few years ago. "She rang my doorbell and took a nap on my front porch."

After 10 years, she's learned to expect the disruptive welcome week shenanigans. But this year, the students and their behavior seemed a little different.

"They don't seem to be as troublesome. They seemed to be quiet and respectful," BeGole says.

East Lansing Police Chief Tom Wibert is happy to hear that, and says his department's arrest numbers and calls for service reflect those observations.

"There's still a lot of noise and a lot of parties, but the situation has improved to the point where for two years in a row, we haven't had a single street blocked by crowds," Wibert says.

Wibert mainly attributes the calmer year to a change in the academic calendar and good police work. This year, there were a total of 844 calls for service over the five-day fall welcome. Five years ago, there were nearly 1,100 over a shorter three-day span.

But 844 calls for service, 109 arrests and one dumpster set on fire hardly seems like a victory; Wibert says, "small wins."

"It's still busy, but it's manageable. I'll take it."

BeGole says she'll take it too.

"There are times you get someone at 4 a.m. who's rowdy and wakes you up. But it all comes with living in an active, energetic neighborhood."

The calls for service this year were up slightly from last year's 716.

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