Students on the Tempe campus were able to meet with police officers at Tuesday’s second Meet Your Local Police event.
Officers from Tempe and ASU Police came out to represent their departments and allow students to meet with officers, ask questions and raise concerns.
Detective Jeff Lane with Tempe Police’s Crime Prevention Unit said it’s meant to be a handshake event, aimed at letting students see their local officers and feel comfortable with them.
“We’ve got to break that barrier between officers and students,” he said.
The question-and-answer style meeting had officers clarifying concerns and misconceptions for students on a variety of issues, including Miranda rights and the purpose of undercover police officers.
But the hot issue of the gathering was the city of Tempe’s new loud-party ordinance aimed at curbing loud parties and the periphery crime associated with them.
Lane told the group of about 30 students that gathered in a classroom at the W. P. Carey School of Business that noise and loud party complaints are the department’s No. 1 call for service.
“Most people think theft, maybe burglaries, (or) car theft,” he said. “No, by far it is loud noise parties.”
According to Tempe Police, an average of 6,051 calls for service come in to police annually as a result of loud parties and noise complaints.
The new ordinance aims to cut the number of calls for service to loud parties by allowing officers to take immediate action when responding.
Officers are no longer required to give warnings to party-goers but can begin handing out fines as high as $250 on the first offense, Lane said.
Officers must also notify landlords and property owners about any loud noise complaints, Lane said.
Much of the focus of the meeting fell on fraternities and how they can responsibly go about having parties.
ASU Police Commander Kevin Williams called upon fraternities to look after their brothers and encourage each other to do the right thing when having parties.
“It’s your responsibility to ensure that your brothers that are underage are not drinking,” Williams said.
Lane said it’s important for fraternities to follow their bylaws and recommended getting permits and notifying neighbors when they plan on hosting parties to be good neighbors and keep everyone safe.
ASU marketing and entrepreneurship management junior Cole Tsonis attended the event and said he thought the information was helpful, but that there is still a gap between students and officers that needs to be met.
“I think that students are willing to work with this,” Tsonis said. “I think there is a solution, but I think it’s going to truly take the coming together of both sides.”
Lane said Tuesday’s event had a smaller turnout than the last time officers held a Meet Your Local Police event but was glad to see students there and asking questions.
“Even though last time we had 50 or 60 students, and this time about 20 or 30,” Lane said. “If we can educate people … if there is just 10 people here, I think it would have been worth it.”
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