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Increased Weekend Patrols Will Monitor Parties in Allston

Arrest now the preferred policy for Boston Police

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Boston Police will double their weekend party patrols in the GAP area of Allston (Gardner, Ashford, and Pratt streets) following the stabbing death of an Allston man at a New Year’s Eve bash.

Sergeant Michael O’Hara of the Boston Police says the patrols are instructed to arrest those violating alcohol and other laws, in lieu of the lesser penalties like summonses that had been preferred until now.

“We now have one party car on weekends. We’re going to double that—two cars, four officers, and a supervisor—for the next four or five weekends,” he says. After that, the department will resume its one-car patrol, aided by Boston University Police Department officers. The patrols will run Thursday through Saturday from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. The heightened patrols will also operate during those hours this Sunday in anticipation of parties connected to the American Football Conference championship game, which pits the Patriots and the Baltimore Ravens. BUPD Captain Robert Molloy says University police will also add two more patrols to the area and to West Campus. The additional patrols will be in place from Thursday through Saturday from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m.

New England Institute of Art student Anthony Spaulding died New Year’s Day after a brawl in his apartment. His alleged killer has been charged with Boston’s first murder of 2013.

While the stabbing prompted the heightened patrols, says O’Hara, raucous parties have been a problem for years; the area was plagued with car arsons in 2011 and last fall with assaults on women. An unknown assailant reportedly knocked down the victims, hiked their skirts or yanked down their pants, and photographed them.

The crackdown on alcohol-related violations and parties is also the goal of the University’s two-year-old enforcement plan, which sends extra patrols by Boston, Brookline, and BU Police into known party neighborhoods. The police disperse parties and cite or arrest law-breakers. O’Hara says police occasionally have invoked an ordinance passed in 2011 that allows them to arrest landlords and student tenants at so-called problem properties—apartments with a record of alcohol violations. Enforcement statistics were published last semester on BU Today.

Last fall, hospital runs for seriously drunk students plummeted, prompting cautious hope that the enforcement effort was paying off. Still, O’Hara says, Boston Police think rowdy behavior is still prevalent enough that “we’ve got to make a bigger impact. We’ve got to make arrests” as opposed to handing out summonses.

Boston Police are currently distributing a flyer in the GAP area announcing the new party patrols. Boston Police Captain Wayne Lanchester says he hopes the message will “reduce the number of house parties, reduce the number of underage youth roaming the streets, and eliminate illegal public drinking and the resulting violence.”

36 Comments
Rich Barlow

Rich Barlow can be reached at barlowr@bu.edu.

36 Comments on Increased Weekend Patrols Will Monitor Parties in Allston

  • jess on 01.18.2013 at 5:35 am

    PLEASE stop describing in detail the sexual assaults that occurred last fall without at least putting a trigger warning on the story. ffs

    • jack on 01.18.2013 at 9:29 am

      Grow Up Jess, we don’t live in a bubble

      • John on 01.18.2013 at 10:08 am

        Grow up Jack, she didn’t advocate not printing the story but simply providing a trigger warning for people who have suffered abuse. Reading those kind of descriptions can be seriously traumatic for sexual assault victims – get some perspective.

      • Erin on 01.18.2013 at 12:41 pm

        So sick of the “we don’t live in a bubble”/”don’t be so PC” whiners. What’s wrong with common courtesy? It’s sensationalist to *describe* the assaults in an article about underage partying and a trigger warning is an easy thing to add. We should all be willing to be slightly inconvenienced if it helps someone else avoid serious pain.

      • jess on 01.18.2013 at 2:40 pm

        telling some one who experiences triggers that they don’t live in a bubble as an excuse to not have to use trigger warnings or avoid graphic/detailed descriptions of abuse is the most asinine thing. do you think people who experience triggers don’t KNOW that? do you think we don’t suffer already because of it? the fact of the matter is, people use trigger warnings all the time. R ratings for graphic depictions of violence, anyone? but you’re right, i’m obviously the one who needs to grow up.

    • really? on 01.18.2013 at 10:21 am

      Seriously?

      • jess on 01.18.2013 at 2:44 pm

        seriously. also thanks to bu today for not bothering to edit the article or add a warning. that’s really sweet of you. so nice, so compassionate.

        • Ashley on 01.19.2013 at 12:02 am

          You could always be proactive and contact BU Today directly (almost like an adult) instead of making passive agressive comments on their articles that may or may not be read. Just a thought.

    • Kate on 01.18.2013 at 7:51 pm

      You’re so right. I was VERY upset by the reporting of the stabbing and would like to request trigger warnings for reports of graphic violence.

    • Ashley on 01.18.2013 at 7:53 pm

      Slactivism at its finest. Sometimes things happen to my sorority sisters but parties are unavoidable!

  • Gary on 01.18.2013 at 9:33 am

    ” arrest those violating alcohol and other laws, in lieu of the lesser penalties like summonses that had been preferred until now.”

    What a joke. That’s right, ruin the lives of those who weren’t even there on new Year’s Eve!

    • Frank on 01.18.2013 at 2:35 pm

      I had a house party busted on Pratt Street 2 years ago. Nobody went to jail because we were really truthful and told the cops we know what we did and we would pay the fines, but NONE of us are CRIMINALS. We learned our lesson and we never had a party that big ever again, we kept them really modest from that point on.

      The sense I get from this article is that BUPD wants to turn normal happy college students into criminals. Why? Are you guys too bored with not having enough crimes?

  • EAT on 01.18.2013 at 9:35 am

    4-5 weeks?
    So in 6 weeks lets have the craziest party weekend ever!

  • Annoyed on 01.18.2013 at 9:58 am

    Oh gee. What a wonderful use of the policy’s time… If you really think that breaking up college parties is going to curb violence, you all need to do your homework. The man that was photographing women was not a college student and he was not attending these parties. If your goal is to discourage students from roaming Allston, you will never succeed because it isn’t a crime to be outside at night. I used to live on Gardner and was consistently disgusted at the fact that Boston tax dollars are spent on increased patrols on crowded streets and yet a small girl like me had to walk down the dimly lit Malvern St. to get home and never did I see a single officer watching that much more threatening area. College students are going to party – the key is accountability. There needs to be increased self defense and alcohol education. There does not need to be an officer breaking up every harmless gathering and here’s a big reason why – aren’t the students safer inside a party than having to wander around in the dark after an innocent party was broken up? Seems pretty irresponsible, especially because when people are rushed out of a party, they may end up having to walk alone – DANGER! I now live in Brookline near where the string of armed robberies took place. I have still never felt safe again. So maybe the Brookline police should do their jobs and stay on their own turf, too. Shame on you BU. Your aim has never been to protect students. It’s always been to increase positive PR for yourselves. Disgusting.

    • Mike on 01.18.2013 at 11:33 am

      The article could have been a little clearer, but I don’t think the author meant to associate the assaults or the car arson with the parties directly, only with the area in which all three occurred. Also, the police are obligated to respond to continued noise complaints(there are probably a few non-BU people still living in that area who are presumably the ones calling).

    • Annoyed on 01.19.2013 at 12:14 pm

      Well… I hate to say I told you so…

      Perhaps advertising that Brookline police will NOT be in Brookline isn’t such a good idea, BU. You really need to prioritize. Breaking up parties is NOT as important as keeping those of us who live in Brookline safe! This is absolutely ridiculous!

  • 21 on 01.18.2013 at 10:00 am

    I’m of legal drinking age. So if you think I’m going to stop going to parties and drinking when it’s perfectly legal for me to do so, you are mistaken.

  • Former Resident on 01.18.2013 at 10:24 am

    The police keep missing the real problem here. I used to live in a house that threw big parties all the time. We had probably 5 big brawls with police presence every time. The problem is never the college students who throw the parties, but high school students and older that are not college students from surrounding towns coming to these parties and starting large brawls. They often bring weapons and are more than ready to fight. The goal of the police should be to keep these people out. When you see a car pull down Gardner ST, without a parking permit, park there, and 6 young men exit the car, that is where they should be stopped and questioned. These people are often in gangs, and committing crimes is a ritual. The police never believe that these people are not college students and they never are…

    • AP on 01.18.2013 at 10:51 am

      Former Resident, I was going to write the same thing. I’ve lived in the area for many years, and I’ve never felt threatened or unsafe by any BU, BC, Berklee, etc., etc., students/young alums who live in Allston-Brighton. I’ve felt unsafe because of the roaming groups of men who are “regular” residents of the area, who loiter, leer, catcall, panhandle, sell drugs, and otherwise behave inappropriately.

      It’s probably part of the reason a lot of the newer construction buildings in the Allston area have doormen.

  • mike on 01.18.2013 at 10:38 am

    The absurdity of this article could allow me to rant forever, but I will just say one thing: increased patrols do not decrease parties. I have lived on Ashford street for two years now and I can say this with absolute certainty. You cannot stop college students from drinking and partying.

    • mrs m on 01.18.2013 at 11:24 am

      Dear Mike:
      What stops you from driving 90 mph in a 20mph school zone? What stops you from robbing a 7-11? The article is about enforcing a law. If you are underage, you are breaking the law. If you are 21 and providing drinks to minors, you are breaking they law. Show respect for our country and follow the laws. Otherwise, run for congress and change them.

      • joe on 01.18.2013 at 11:42 am

        What stops people from smoking pot? Oh wait, nothing. Where there is demand, there will be supply. Illegalizing it just keeps people from doing it safely, ie in secret and afraid of calling ambulances etc. when in danger

      • common sense on 01.18.2013 at 5:02 pm

        What about the blue laws in Ma, I think we should enforce those too right?… Its called use common sense not a piece of paper signed at the bottom. Enforcing underaged drinking is a waste of tax dollars. People need to start looking at the larger picture rather than small petty issues that will never change. And by the way, I respect this country an immense amount and focusing on these kinds of issues will run us into the ground.

      • Pol on 01.19.2013 at 4:24 pm

        Wait. Infallible logic here. Mike I guess you better just run for congress. Everything points in that direction.
        In the meantime, I know what I’m doing tonight.

    • ms. l on 01.18.2013 at 12:26 pm

      I agree Mike. Like any college campus, BU students like to go to parties in Allston. BU reports show that violent crimes like the stabbing on New Years Eve do not happen because of parties thrown by BU students. Attempting to stop the parties won’t stop the larger problem at hand: that Allston is a generally unsafe area because of non-BU students living there. As a girl who lives in Allston I can say from experience that it is when you are alone on the street that you worry for your safety, not when you are at a party.

  • None on 01.18.2013 at 11:24 am

    This is ridiculous! As a student who goes to the bars and clubs instead of Allston/Ashford area I feel that I provide a somewhat unbiased opinion so here it is…
    THIS IS STUPID!!!
    Dear BUPD if you need something to do simply increase patrols and get a smartphone so you can.play games if ur bored. If you dont want to pay for a smartphone the lot behind cas is finished and would be a good spot to snooze.
    Also arson was not connected to parties or illegal drinking. This is unnecessary so please think twice if arrest is really the answer here.

  • joe on 01.18.2013 at 11:58 am

    > “reduce the number of house parties, reduce the number of underage youth roaming the streets”

    Those aren’t illegal. Please stick to upholding the law instead of making up your own inane rules or ideals to enforce, Captain Lanchester.

    I hate that we live in an age of collective accountability. Someone got stabbed? Not the stabbers fault, it’s everyone’s fault. My rights should not be infringed just because someone else abuses alcohol or commits an act of violence. This is a waste of tax and tuition dollars and a spit in the face to free individuals. Adult residents of Allston are perfectly capable of living their lives without direct supervision from the oh-so caring police.

    Protect innocent citizens, and punish those who hurt other people. That’s what the police are for. Not to patrol us and keep us in line according to their code. This article reads like an excerpt out of 1984.

    Also, what exactly are the alcohol laws they’ll be focusing on and how do they plan on enforcing them?

    • Frank on 01.18.2013 at 2:31 pm

      Exactly. This article makes no sense. “We need to make more arrests”.. WHY?

      Why would you mention stabbings and sexual attacks, when you know you’re bypassing the real reason which is to make college LESS FUN. You are bored cops and you want to make everyone out to be a ‘bad guy’ even though there are very few bad guys in Allston.

      BUPD, you guys are a disgrace. This article is nonsense and gives NO VALID REASONING AT ALL to increase arrests or patrol cars.

  • Josh on 01.18.2013 at 1:16 pm

    It’s clear that Boston University has no idea how to handle themselves in the wake of the sexual assaults and robberies in Brookline, the idea of reducing the man power whose job it is to protect the students is foolishly being wasted attempting to curb an issue that is not a result of Boston University but rather the entire culture of college. Any potential thief who reads this along with the knowledge that the BUPD could not stop three thieves who struck in broad daylight in Brookline must be clamoring at the idea that BU just doesn’t understand the culture of college attempting to stop parties in Allston while leaving the rest of us vulnerable is just about as good an idea as teaching abstinence at a frat party.

  • Sigh on 01.18.2013 at 5:00 pm

    No one here seems capable of distinguishing the statements made by the general Boston Police from the BUPD.

  • Kate on 01.18.2013 at 9:27 pm

    It’s cute that someone thinks this will ruin their life. Chill out. Have smaller parties with people you know, not strangers, don’t play your music so loud that it violates noise ordinances and everyone will be happy, including your neighbors and the popo. This doesn’t violate anyone’s rights and already they’ve seen a decrease in alcohol poisoning (this costs tax dollars, too).

  • Steve on 01.19.2013 at 1:35 am

    Good thing you were busting house parties tonight and not preventing armed robberies that actually occurred. But you get some alcohol fines out of it, so great!

  • Grad Student on 01.19.2013 at 2:30 am

    Some of the grad students who live around all the drunk undergrads do like to study on the weekends. Not that arrests are the way to go but you all could learn to shut up… or study.

    • Another Grad Student on 01.20.2013 at 9:56 am

      Thank you! Seriously…I’m all about a good party now and then, but does the screaming in the streets about nothing really need to happen so frequently?? Go to your party, roam the streets, but just have your meaningless conversation in the middle of the road at a normal speaking volume!

  • anonymous on 01.19.2013 at 3:17 am

    i never attend these Allston parties and instead frequently attend events at nightclubs, but i still think this is ridiculous. i have a friend who was mugged, beaten, and robbed last year about a block away from West Campus in the “GAP” neighborhood. as far as i know, there was no report made, and no one helped her in this situation. meanwhile, i am receiving text messages and emails informing me of armed robberies taking place at St. Paul & Freeman in brookline, an area where several BU students live. this is after the 4 armed robberies in the same neighborhood that took place within 3 weeks last semester. again, i have virtually no involvement with the Allston party scene; i actually have no interest in it whatsoever. but i think the BUPD and Boston Police needs to get their priorities straight. i personally think armed robberies are more threatening than drinking & whatnot. let’s address the real issues here.

  • Alex on 01.19.2013 at 6:40 pm

    guess they didn’t tell the cops to watch it for robberies

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