Homecoming weekend is the biggest weekend of the year for the Stevens Point’s Police Department, but with no major injuries reported and binge drinking down, authorities are calling this year’s celebration a success.
Stevens Point Police Sgt. Tony Babl said every call they received that weekend was usually Homecoming-related. This year, police wrote 48 non-traffic violations between Friday and Sunday. 26 citations were written for underage alcohol consumption, 11 for open intoxicants and two for drunken driving.
Babl said for the past two years, letters have been sent to landlords in core areas asking them to set guidelines for acceptable behavior prior to Homecoming. Core areas include housing near Partners Pub and College Avenue.
Throughout the weekend, officers patrolled the streets by car and foot. There were even officers assigned to shifts early on Saturday morning in order to inform students about police expectations for the day. They told students to have fun and be safe, but there would be consequences if parties got out of hand.
Babl said the police department had concerns about parties growing so large that the hosts do not know the attendees.
Warnings or not, there was no shortage of good weather and Homecoming spirit. Celebrations ensued, and yards were crowded with students enjoying parties.
“The activity was up there,” Babl said. “We planned early in the year to have double the officers.”
Senior Ben Polzin said he did not know there were more police out during this Homecoming than previous years.
“They were just letting people have fun,” Polzin said.
Polzin said he and his friends roamed the streets, yards and sidewalks of Stevens Point on Saturday without any trouble from law enforcement.
Another group of partygoers, Bryce Krejcarek and Olivia Esqueda, said they did not notice an excess of officers during the weekend. The two spent most of their Homecoming around Partners Pub and Grill and College Avenue.
“I thought they were pretty relaxed,” Krejcarek said.
Both students agreed the police they encountered were friendly and primarily concerned with safety.