Halloween safety is a priority for police

Kevin Gareau

Security during Halloween weekend is a major priority for Kent State and the city of Kent, and extra security measures will be taken to ensure students’ safety.

Kent State Police Chief John Peach said an increased number of officers will focus their efforts on campus throughout the weekend.

“We won’t be sending our officers downtown as we did in the past,” Peach said.

“We’ve realized the activities on campus are too significant, and we can’t afford to be sending our officers off campus.”

He added there are typically a lot of parties in residence hall rooms – which lead to noise and alcohol violations – and the police need to deal with those.

Peach said officers will be available to help the Kent Police if necessary.

Kent Police Capt. Michelle Lee said her officers will mainly be focusing their patrols on the downtown area.

“We will have most of the officers in our department working that night,” Lee said. “In addition, the Metro SWAT Team will be helping us out.”

Lee said officers will patrol by car and on foot Saturday night. She said police will make extra patrols around the entire city, but they will pay the most attention to downtown.

Lee said while the police department will not be planning any kind of traffic control, it may be necessary to block off part of Franklin Avenue.

“We’ve had to do that in the past, but we’ll see how it goes,” Lee said. “Hopefully we can keep people out of the street.”

Campus Security will also be stepping up its patrols, said security manager Brian Hellwig.

Hellwig said there will be extra security officers patrolling campus to make sure students are safe. There are typically 100 incidents reported on the Saturday of Halloween weekend.

“We spend the night running from incident to incident,” Hellwig said.

Hellwig said the campus escort service will be available as usual, and he said he encourages students to use it.

“It will be getting dark earlier – so if you are alone feel free to call for an escort,” he said.

Contact safety reporter Kevin Gareau at [email protected]. Room and board reporter Julie McKinney contributed to this report.