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Riding in cop cars

Ivana Pelisek | Interrobang | News | September 15th, 2008

Police officers were out in full swing during the weekend of September 5 — 7 patrolling the downtown core, Fanshawe College and the University of Western Ontario.

Constables Adam Steele and Brad Merrison are part of Project L.E.A.R.N's C.O.R. Unit program, which runs for a total of nine weeks; six weeks at the beginning of the school year and an additional three weeks at the end of the year.

London Police offer an eye opening Ride- Along program where media get to come out for the night and observe the rowdiness that has been occurring in and around London since the new school year has begun.

Friday, September 5 I experienced first-hand what the officers see on a nightly basis. Noise complaints, drunken kids and beer bottles flying over fences.

The night started out with regular routine checks in and around problem areas in the city, such as Fleming Drive.

As the night progressed, and partiers had more liquor in their systems, the rowdiness began.

With coffee in our hands, the night began by patrolling the area of Fleming Drive.

What seemed like a regular Friday night amongst partygoers in the city soon turned up side down as people went doorto- door looking for the best party.

Uninvited guests showed up in backyards with their 2-4's ready to join a fun game of flip cup with friends.

As the night progressed, several arrests were made, along with fines for trespassing and urinating in public were issued.

An unidentified non-student homeowner living on Fleming made it clear that, “as long as the kids control their behaviour, it's fine.”

It is during these times when homeowners make pleas with London Police to try to put an end to such rowdy behaviour.

“It is these homeowners who choose to remain anonymous,” said Constable Steele. “They are afraid of having their properties being targets of future damage.”

Statistically, parties are getting bigger and more out of hand each year and uninvited guests are choosing to make an appearance to places where they may not even be wanted. Police stress that hosts need to have control of who is coming in and out of their homes and not open their doors to everyone.

The situations that occurred during the weekend of September 5 — 7 occur throughout the year.

The constables made a point by saying, “it is a shame that the few individuals, who choose to behave in these manners, are giving the rest of the students at both Fanshawe College and UWO a bad name.

There are a lot of good students who respect police presence; odd few who cause trouble.”

My night patrolling along-side police

8:30 pm: I arrive at Police Headquarters; shortly after my arrival another Fanshawe student radio reporter arrives. We meet with Constables Adam Steele and Brad Merrison who took us for the Ride Along

9:10 pm: Got our caffeine fix at Tim's

9:30 pm: Officers stop for Starbucks

9:41 pm: Arrived at Fleming Drive area. All seemed calm and steady with a few small house parties taking place. Constable Steele advised that if there are people on your property that you don't want present, just flag one of the officers down. There are enough police present to ensure no one has uninvited people over at their residence. This is good to know, because if noise persists on your property, the tenant is the one responsible for a noise violation ticket.

10:06 pm: Officers receive a call regarding a loud house party located on 1360 Oxford St. When officers receive a call of this nature, they have to assess the situation

10:16 pm: Patrolled Oxford St. East. At this time partiers were caught with open alcohol, and fines were handed out for trespassing. Tickets for trespassing are $65

10:30 pm: Patrolled area of Fanshawe College Blvd.

11:20 pm: A big party got broken up in Fleming area. Three males were given tickets. The cause for what is unknown at this time.

11:22 pm: My camera broke down. Officer Merrison tried to fix it.

11:30 pm: We were in and around Fanshawe where a few people got arrested for intoxication in a public place.

11:35 pm: Timmies break!

A call came in about a noise disturbance at 1625 Mardell St. Off we went to see what was going on. Upon arriving at the scene, someone from the backyard threw a beer bottle out front. For this incident the tenants, who are also students at Fanshawe, received a $215 fine, which they split four ways. The cops warned the partiers that if there were to be another noise disturbance each tenant would receive an individual ticket, and not one that is split four ways. A friend of the tenant was being rowdy, therefore arrested by officers and taken into the street. Shortly after he was let go, he went back in the house.

12:02 am: Constable Steele makes a phone call to a citizen who initially called in the noise disturbance, and advised what action had taken place and reassured them they were going to remain anonymous. Police fill out some paperwork.

12:24 am: Patrolled UWO area. Arrive at house party where a girl gets told to put the lid back on her alcoholic beverage and go back in the house, taking everyone with her.

12:34 am: Headed downtown. This area was extremely busy. Streets were crowded and lineups to get into the bars were ridiculously long. Major problem seen that night were people urinating in alleyways and on buildings.

12:48 am: Two guys given fines for urinating in an alley in downtown London. Fines were $155 each

12:55 am: A citizen came to the police car saying there was a fight up the street. We headed down to Albert St and then officers parked the car. They proceeded on foot along with other officers, to question the people involved in the altercation. One guy appeared to be bleeding from the mouth and knuckles. All involved in fight were let go.

1:34 am: Back at Fleming. Parties were slowly dying down, yet still lots of people outside

1:43 am: A guy is seen with open liquor while in public. Ticketed $135 for having open liquor on a sidewalk

2:03 am: Heading back to downtown. Busier than prior visit. People started to leave bars.

2:14 am: A call came in about a male getting a baseball bat to the face on Thurman Circle

2:30 am: Officers drive us back to our vehicles

3:00 am: Arrived home!
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