Police prepare for celebration

Bryan Wroten

Seventy of the people dressed as police tomorrow won’t be in costume — they’ll be in uniform.

Kent Police Chief James Peach said police presence at this year’s Halloween celebrations will be slightly more than usual because of the football game against Ohio University. While they aren’t expecting any problems, he said it is just a precaution.

“I don’t anticipate anything different, even with the OU game,” Kent Police Capt. Jim Goodlet said.

Because the football game will start at 2 p.m. instead of 4 p.m., he said he doesn’t expect people from Athens to stay until the night’s events. He also said Ohio students probably won’t come to Kent at all because they are celebrating tomorrow night as well.

There will be 70 to 80 officers downtown, Peach said. That number also includes members of the Metro SWAT team and officers from the Kent State and Brimfield police departments, he said.

They have had anywhere between 60 and 80 police officers patrolling downtown for Halloween in the past, Goodlet said.

Lt. Michelle Lee of the Kent Police said the officers will form groups and walk around downtown. Having police downtown will help to keep everything peaceful, she said. There aren’t too many problems with violence, she said.

For the most part, Goodlet said people celebrating are compliant with the police. He said the officers aren’t trying to take over. As long as people observe the laws and don’t infringe on each other’s rights, there shouldn’t be too many problems, he said.

“Underage drinking is something we will be concerned with,” he said, “and strictly enforcing.”

Sixty-five people were arrested during last year’s festivities. Most of the arrests involved alcohol violations. The number and types of arrests are pretty normal, Goodlet said.

He said anyone driving shouldn’t drink. Those who do drink need to remember to have a designated driver, he said. While downtown, he said people should respect each other’s rights.

Other than that, he said students should “enjoy themselves.”

Contact public affairs reporter Bryan Wroten at [email protected].