EDITORIAL: No goblins in Kent

The Kent Police Department showed remarkable restraint during Halloween weekend, and they ought to be congratulated for their good work this Saturday.

The thousands of drunken college students that swarmed the city this weekend was reminiscent of a plague of locusts – or, judging from many of the costumes, maybe Sodom and Gomorrah is a more appropriate biblical comparison – but the police department was successful in preserving that most delicate of balances: maintaining law and order, but at the same time allowing the students to have their fun.

It is unfortunate, however, that the police department is incapable of preserving this balance every weekend. Too often, many police officers use excessive tactics that would be considered ridiculously heavy-handed in most college towns across America.

Of course, it would be asinine to suggest that every weekend should have the same sort of atmosphere Halloween weekend does. No city could withstand such intense revelry on a regular basis. And students certainly have their own responsibilities to meet when it comes to fostering a safe and fun atmosphere that everyone in the university community can enjoy.

But the atmosphere on Saturday was much more enjoyable than the usual fare. The officers were more than happy to pose for pictures or offer a friendly high-five to young partygoers, only arresting those who committed obvious and potentially dangerous offenses – such as driving while intoxicated or stumbling into an intersection with an open alcohol container. Basically, the police did what police officers in a college town are supposed to do.

When students cooperate and police ease up a bit, the result is usually quite favorable, and this year’s festivities are a fine example of this principle. Kent State is home to a Halloween celebration that rivals any college in America, but there was no major destruction of property, there were no riots in the streets.

The Kent Police Department should be commended on a job well done. Let’s hope that commendations can be doled out more frequently in the future.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.