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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
WPD cruiser tire slashed

By Yue-Yi Hwa -
Last weekend's late-night scene took a sobering turn early Sunday morning when the tire of a Williamstown Police Department (WPD) cruiser was slashed while officers were shutting down a party at 18 Meadow St., an off-campus residence rented by seven students from the College.

The Campus Safety and Security dispatcher received a call from WPD at 12:15 a.m. requesting assistance to break up a party in response to a noise complaint. WPD sent two officers and two cars to the party of an estimated 200 guests. While WPD officers were in the house, a Security officer observed "a person … run to the front of one of the WPD cruisers, then … off towards the dirt lot," according to dispatch logs.

"This most definitely crossed a line," said Frank Johnson, WPD Chief. "It seriously compromised the safety of everyone in town as it took an officer out of service until he was able to get another patrol car. This reduction in emergency responders potentially could have cost a life if his services were needed elsewhere and he was delayed in his response." Johnson noted that he cannot recall any similar occurrences.

The perpetrator has yet to be identified. "We are holding the tenants responsible at this point as they were the ones that had the party," said Johnson. "They could all be charged accordingly." Residents of 18 Meadow said they had no involvement in the tire-slashing. "We [the house's occupants] were all in the back of the house at the time," one resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said. "Some people actually saw what happened but no one was able to identify who it was."

While no other negative encounters were reported at the Meadow party, two arrests for open container and underage possession violations occurred the same night. The WPD also broke up a Friday night party at Susie Hopkins, a co-op, again in response to a noise complaint.

According to Johnson, noise complaints about College-associated parties occur "almost every weekend during good weather." They are a point of ongoing dialogue between the WPD and the College. "With the noise abatement program, we meet with all students that will live off-campus or in co-ops and advise them ahead of time of what is expected and the consequences should these expectations not be met," Johnson said.
Security and Campus Life also take part in these annual information sessions.

"The thing that off-campus people need to know is that they're incredibly vulnerable to legal action if anything happens to an underage drinker at a party," Merrill said. While noise complaint strikes for on-campus events accrue to the College, both Merrill and Johnson stressed that student tenants are liable to criminal charges for off-campus incidents.

Jean Thorndike, director of Security, also pointed to the impact on community interactions. "We have concern for neighborhood relations when things like this [tire slashing] happen," she said. "Information is provided to the students and they have to make choices. But we certainly understand that sometimes when word gets out about a party, things can get out of hand."

A new round of discussions between the College and WPD last spring eventually led to the stipulation that amplified entertainment for all outdoor events on campus must be shut down by midnight. The College is considering alternatives, together with All-Campus Entertainment (ACE) and Neighborhood Governance Boards (NGBs).

"I don't know if there's more room for compromise, but we are talking about counter-proposals; although right now the message sent out [by Campus Life Director Doug Schiazza] still stands," Merrill said. "What we're doing with the NGBs and ACE is looking at where the major problems have occurred and where we have had more success, for example with parties in the Greylock Quad."

Johnson is also optimistic about future resolutions. "The College is very good at problem solving," Johnson said, citing home football games as positive proof. "I would like to never receive a noise complaint ever again. I want people to have a good time, but cannot allow it to be done at someone else's expense."
 

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Next door at MCLA the campus cops would never had let that happen to a NAPD car!
;)
 

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Its one thing to have security guards at a non dorm college, it is foolish NOT to have campus police at a college with dorms.
 

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No, that sends the WRONG MESSAGE.:HS:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Weekend marked by WPD presence

By Sam Weinreich -
The social atmosphere on campus this past weekend was decidedly uneasy, as students tried to gauge how Campus Safety and Security and the Williamstown Police Department (WPD) would respond to an incident on Saturday, Oct. 13, in which a WPD patrol car's tire was slashed as officers were breaking up a party at 18 Meadow St.

"We saw more arrests and knew about WPD being more present this weekend," said Dean Merrill. According to Security account logs, two students were cited with liquor-law violations and two more were arrested for having open containers between Friday night and Sunday morning.

WPD Chief Kyle Johnson claimed, however, that these numbers were not out of the ordinary.

When asked whether the police department was doing anything differently in response to the tire-slashing or whether there was increased police activity around campus this weekend, Johnson said no on both accounts.
Nevertheless, from Fayerweather to Agard to Spencer, students reported that their parties were broken up with an alacrity that struck some as strange. Ariel White, '11, was in Fayerweather Hall when a Security officer arrived to address a noise complaint. "He warned us that students who would normally get only a warning were now getting arrested," she said.

Ron Gagnon, owner of the Spirit Shoppe, reported increased police activity outside his establishment over the weekend. According to Gagnon, WPD officers questioned several customers outside of the Spirit Shoppe. "We asked if we did anything wrong and the police said [that] everything was fine. [The police] said they were doing this everywhere. [But] they said they would not be doing this every weekend."

"[The increased police activity] really had nothing to do with the store and they bothered no one in the store," Gagnon added. "They were on the street talking to people out of the shop. What they were asking I have no clue, but there were no real issues as far as I could tell." WPD also stationed officers outside West's Liquor Store at intervals over the weekend.

The Red Herring, the lone Spring Street Bar, was also under extra WPD scrutiny this weekend. Ron Cantelon, who worked the Saturday shift at The Herring, said he noticed a change in WPD's presence. "Since I've heard of this incident on Meadow Street, that's when I've seen the extra police," he said. "They've asked our doormen to be more vigilant but we have a pretty tight crew." Johnson said that WPD had not been in contact with the Herring.

"It's not uncommon for the police to become very proactive and increase enforcement at the beginning of the school year," said Jean Thorndike, director of Security. She declined to respond further to specific questions about this weekend's police activity.
 

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Even if the increased activity WAS a backlash to what happened, should it surprise these idiots? You can tolerate only so much, when that tolerance is tested to the limit you HAVE to react.

I mean, DUH!
 

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Someone knows who did the tire slashing, if one of those who knows is an arrestee because of a perceived backlash, then hopefully the dime gets dropped or the suspect gets his ass kicked by that person.
 

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Unfortunately, I'm sure manpower is an issue but thats why you never leave cruisers unattended outside a college party. We once had a license plate stolen off a cruiser and went back inside and told them if that plate is not back here in 10 minutes this will be the most miserable school year of your lives. Low and behold their buddy was back with the plate. It would have been such a good story if one of their family members were calling 911 for help and they couldn't respond..
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Tire-slasher comes forward

By Kevin Waite - Editor-in-Chief
A Williams student has come forward to the Dean's Office and the Williams Police Department (WPD) as the person responsible for the Sept. 14 slashing of a WPD cruiser's tire, according to Dean Merrill. She said that the student came to her office last Wednesday and had spoken with the WPD just prior to that. Because the case involves College disciplinary proceedings, Merrill would not disclose the student's name.

"There could be cases where we would report a student's name if that name became public knowledge for a particularly egregious action," Merrill said. "But in the vast majority of cases, we keep names confidential when a student is involved in disciplinary action."

Since the incident, Campus Safety and Security has been working in conjunction with the WPD on the investigation. "Approximately six to ten students were interviewed in this office," said Jean Thorndike, director of Security.

WPD Chief Kyle Johnson could not be reached for comment. No member of the WPD is authorized to speak in his absence.

Although the tire-slashing occurred off-campus, the College reserves the right to take disciplinary action in any case that violates community standards, according to Merrill.

However, she said that the College will wait until disciplinary proceedings through the WPD and the court are finalized before the Dean's Office takes independent disciplinary action.

"Our standard procedure has become like many colleges and universities: when a student's behavior becomes involved in the proceedings of the police and courts, we hold off on taking disciplinary action until that's done," Merrill said. "If the student poses a risk or engages in a really egregious behavior, we have the power to impose an interim suspension where we send that student away from campus and do a formal disciplinary proceeding later."

"This is not one of those cases," she added. "We are not concerned about this student posing a risk."

Until disciplinary proceedings reach a conclusion with the WPD, the Dean's Office will "engage in regular conversation with the student about the student's behavior."
 

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Although the tire-slashing occurred off-campus, the College reserves the right to take disciplinary action in any case that violates community standards, according to Merrill.

"This is not one of those cases," she added. "We are not concerned about this student posing a risk."

Until disciplinary proceedings reach a conclusion with the WPD, the Dean's Office will "engage in regular conversation with the student about the student's behavior."
Translation= Because we fear a lawsuit by the student and/or his family, we'll let the WPD step up and deal with this young adult. In addition we are "not concerned" with students brandishing knives and carrying out violent acts with them. Regular conversation means we will ask the student nicely not engage in such behavior again
:uc:
 

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Don't worry. Simmons Rock college is even better! A mini Virginia tech happened there. All they had were security guards, unarmed of course. Do you think almost 20 years latter Simmons Rock College has ARMED campus police or hey even armed security guards?

Nope same old stuff. I agree with required gun locks and idiot gun safety courses and background checks for LTCs. The crap Mark Rosenthal pulls is pathetic. Sorry OT I have been reading Ayoob books lately.
 

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Let's not forget that Simons Rock Security wasn't in-house and only had, I believe ONE guard on who was stationed at the gate. I mean, come on, I don't care how quiet a campus is, there is always the potential for problems and to have ONE person on duty is absurd and puts $ over real concern for the safety and security of the students.

I read lots of websites and many, I swear to you, are nothing but smoke screens and if you really read them with an open mind, you would NEVER send you kid there if you feared for his/her safety.

Always watch for the phrase, "two way radios" and "constant communication with...." It essentially means, "See, we have state of the art equipment! We're on the cutting edge of nothing in particular and this is the best we can boast about!"

I mean, WTF, what security/police agency worth spit DOESN'T have two way radios these days? You can pick 'em up at Radio Shack fer Krissakes for $20!
 
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