With Fake Patty’s Day less than 20 days away, members of the Riley County Law Board discussed preparedness for the biggest annual binge-drinking event Manhattan.
Riley County Police Department Capt. Josh Kyle reported to the board that the RCPD plans to take similar actions to last year when it comes to how it polices the event, which is March 5.
“It appears as of right now we’re not going to make any significant alterations to the plan from last year,” Kyle said. “It seemed to be fairly effective.”
Kyle told the board arrests and citations were down after last year’s Fake Patty’s Day, though he did say hospitalizations due to alcohol abuse were up.
“So that gives us some indication that perhaps we need to refocus ourselves in our enforcement efforts,” he said.
Manhattan city commissioner and law board member Usha Reddi suggested the RCPD broadens its patrols during the day.
“I think a lot of youth that participate in Fake Patty’s Day figured out that there’s a lot of police officer presence in Aggieville,” she said. “And they’ve taken (the party) to the outskirts, whether it be fraternity houses or other apartment complexes.”
Reddi also asked Kyle if rooftop parties were still expected to be a problem.
“The rooftop issue is one that, quite frankly, still concerns me,” Kyle agreed. “It’s a code violation, and we’ve confirmed that.”
Kyle said the RCPD has been in discussions with the Manhattan Fire Department on the issue and he said that ultimately, the biggest problem is how exactly to issue those citations.
“How do you get people to come down off of a roof and to write them tickets?” Kyle said. “That’s one of the questions, and secondly, are they the responsible party for the code violation, or is the resident’s owner the one that’s responsible?
“Can we write out the violation and send it to the owner at a later date? These are all questions that need to get resolved.”
In other items, the board discussed a service building expansion for the Riley County Law Enforcement Agency, which has a cost estimation of $775,000. The Riley County Board of County Commissioners has the final authority on the approval for such a project, and law board members — which include county commissioners Robert Boyd and Ron Wells — approved to submit the project to the county for further discussion.