'College Fest' Cost Estimated at $26,000 for Emergency Personnel
Kent Police preparing for a repeat this weekend of last weekend's melee
The cost of the emergency response to "College Fest" this past weekend was about $26,000, according to city officials.
But that cost could double after this coming weekend.
Kent Police Chief Michelle Lee said the city tabulated the cost of police and fire staffing for the 24-hour period from 7 a.m. Saturday until 7 p.m. Sunday.
Lee said staffing for that period cost the police department $9,200 and the fire department $3,200. The city also reimbursed the Portage County Sheriff's Office for $1,300 for providing officers.
"And we estimated the other mutual aid agencies, including Brimfield and the state patrol and our swat team, and that came to $12,650," Lee said.
The total estimated cost of the emergency response is $26,350. Those figures are only for personnel costs and do not include fuel, materials or other costs. Kent is not reimbursing the two agencies that responded via mutual aid.
About 100 officers were on foot in the vicinity of the party and included officers from the Brimfield Police Department, Metro SWAT, Portage County Sheriff's Office and Ohio Highway Patrol.
The fire department responded to 19 calls between 6 p.m. Saturday and 1 a.m. Sunday, averaging almost three calls per hour for seven straight hours.
And officials are preparing for a repeat of the block party this coming weekend, as a Facebook page advertising "College Fest 2012 #2" already shows 3,000 people are planning to attend.
Lee said the response to this coming weekend's events will vary depending upon whether there's an actual repeat of last weekend's College Fest.
"We’re not really sure what to expect," she said. "What we’re afraid of is College Street may not be the location for the parties this weekend. We haven’t really had an end of the year party response to University Drive yet. So that’s maybe where it’s going to go."
That varied response will include plain-clothes officers and an earlier presence on the busier streets to try and maintain calm. Part of the problem this past weekend was how quickly the events on East Colleve Avenue escalated out of control, Lee said.
"We’re trying some different tactics, but we are planning for some sort of event," she said. "Hopefully it turns out to be nothing."