Berkeley police patrol to increase Southside presence to address party-related complaints

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A joint safety patrol will ramp up its presence in the south campus area because of an expected spike in party-related incidents typically associated with the first week of the semester.

The Joint Southside Safety Patrol — created as a response to neighborhood complaints near campus — is a collaborative effort between Berkeley Police Department and UCPD.

Officers from both departments are paired and respond to individual complaints coming from frat row and surrounding areas.

According to Lt. Dan Montgomery, the patrol provides “additional resources” to help address the “increased volume of calls” at the beginning of the school year, which often sees a “huge spike in partying behavior,” including underage drinking and prompting noise complaints.

The city’s Second Response Ordinance first requires a written warning, known as an Exhibit A, to be posted at the site of an unruly gathering. A notice will also be directed to owners of such cited properties. If police are required to intervene on a second complaint within 120 days of the posting, the city levies penalties, including possible monetary fines.

City Councilmember Kriss Worthington, whose district oversees the frat row area, said priorities should be placed on responding to violent assaults and implementing a foot or bicycle police patrol in the Telegraph Avenue area.

“Some people are more worried about parties, but I’m more worried about my constituents getting assaulted,” Worthington said. “I hope that (my suggestions) will be considered in how (BPD) prioritizes their time. People in the Telegraph area deserve that.”

To further emphasize the importance of alcohol education within the campus community, the city and campus will also work in tandem to implement a new campaign funded by a state grant in hopes of reducing the number of complaints from Southside residents, according to Worthington.

“At the beginning of the school year, placing a special attention on educating people on these issues makes sense,” Worthington said. “It gets the year started off on the right foot.”

As the semester progresses, however, the patrol will decrease its presence on frat row, as the number of nuisance-related calls usually dwindles, according to Montgomery.

Adrienne Shih is an assistant news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @adrienneshih.