'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 "" this past weekend was about $26,000, according to city officials.

But that cost could double after this coming weekend.

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 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."

Kasha Legeza April 26, 2012 at 10:32 PM
I'm bewildered by the absence of comments on this story! Resignation? Apathy? I'm aware there are people who believe such unsanctioned events are "just part of the college experience" or that there's a First Amendment right to party that should be safeguarded. But how can anyone justify spending $26,000 in taxpayer funds when city officials are constantly striving to cut budgets and minimize expenses? That same $26,000 could be spent by our police and fire departments on equipment, training and personnel for the benefit of ALL of us. Instead, that money is wasted -- annually -- on people who have no qualms about taunting/abusing the officers/EMTs willing to give their lives to serve and protect everyone (including the offenders themselves!). Think the police bring it on? Just attend one of these parties and see for yourself! I've learned from research this week that Kent residents need to step up and ask City Council to implement legislation prohibiting large, unruly gatherings such as College Fest. Council also should revisit the city's 20-year-old noise ordinance to consider giving police the authority to issue citations prior to 9 p.m. without citizen-signed complaints. The latter would be greatly appreciated -- throughout the year -- in mixed neighborhoods such as my own (Crain-Linden). I can't help but think that the primary purpose of this coming weekend's "College Fest 2012 #2" is to antagonize police, city officials and those of us who proudly call Kent home.
Chris (Kit) Myers April 27, 2012 at 12:28 AM
I was waiting to see if anyone else cared, Ms. Legeza. Yes, as long as it's in someone else's neighborhood I guess it doesn't matter. I hate to say this, but I kinda wish it could be held somewhere on the west side of town so others could see and hear just what it's like. Without seeing the videos a person just doesn't understand what's going on. Guess I'll have to guard the cars in my parking lot on Willow to make sure none of them are walked and jumped upon as has happened in the past. Patch is a wonderful form of media but I doubt that there are a lot of subscribers. I tell everybody about what you have done for us but I don't think many have subscribed - and it don't cost nothin'! I suggest the police set up sobriety checkpoints on EVERY street leading out of town.
John Kuhar April 27, 2012 at 03:01 AM
The city plans on charging the property owners for the actions of there tenants on these party properties. Does the landlord really have any control? So the landlord evicts the tenant who is already planning to leave at the end of the school year. A lot ackomplished ( duh-not really). Why doesn,t the punishment be given to the violator for a change? Do you think that if a renter new they might have to pay for the whole police dept plus fines and administrative cost they would be so eager to have the party at their house? Just my opinion, John Kuhar
Chris (Kit) Myers April 27, 2012 at 09:44 AM
John, I see by this morning's Record-Courier that two males, Jacob Ruby and Ricky Martinez are the organizers of this party. Knowing the history of this event, why aren't they the ones to pay for the protection of the neighborhood. You know, block parties that I have gone to are attended by the people on THEIR street and maybe a few friends. This is NOT a block party. Jacob Ruby and Ricky Martinez have organized a mass event for people from EVERYWHERE ... ON SOMEONE ELSE'S STREET! It's like Woodstock on a public street without having to pay for security. We allow this? I am asking that the City post an officer at the front and at the rear of my property. I demand protection for my property. The councilperson from that ward should make noise ordinance complaints. Will she? National Guard? I hope not.
Sally Burnell April 27, 2012 at 01:38 PM
The $26,000 that the city spent last weekend can be recouped in charging the partiers for the trouble they caused. Take away their beer money. Make them pay. The city is already stretched, budget wise, and they do not have this kind of money in store to pay for the irresponsible behavior of those who caused this expense to be charged to the city account. This weekend could see double the expenses racked up last weekend and it's not fair to a city that has seen its budget cut many times over due to dwindling support from state government. So it's time to make it clear that if you cause a problem, expect to pay for it and reimburse the city for their troubles. Maybe if students know that this is going to hit them where it hurts - their pocketbook - they will think twice about causing problems. The city MUST find a way to recoup that lost $26,000 from last weekend. Send bills to every house on College Street that is a student rental. Charge a specific amount per house and be firm. If you don't pony up, you don't party. If this weekend costs $50,000 in safety forces, then bill them again. There's no excuse for letting students cost the city money it does not have. It's time for a get firm policy that if you cause problems that costs the city money, you're going to have to reimburse the city its costs. Period. That should be an absolute no brainer for the city to put into place. In fact, that should be a written policy that the city puts into place and then enforces. Let's do it!
Chris (Kit) Myers April 27, 2012 at 02:52 PM
Well, Kurt, the article states that the two organized the event which I took to mean the Fest. My apologies to them but your remarks about me are way out of line.
Matt Fredmonsky April 27, 2012 at 02:57 PM
A comment was removed for violating Patch's terms of use. http://kent.patch.com/terms
Kasha Legeza April 27, 2012 at 03:04 PM
That's really cool that Jake and Ricky organized this event -- kudos to them! But Dj-Jordan Knight, while appearing here as altruistic, also seems to be an instigator, according to his April 22 Facebook post on the College Fest 2012 #2" page: "whoever picked up that tear gas grenade and threw it back at the swat teams is my hero" That comment prompted responses from people about buying oven gloves enabling them to pick up the grenades. Poster David Gilbert shared this: "PROTIP: Tear gas grenades are highly effective in the right hands, but extremely hot to the touch. DO NOT handle without heavy winter gloves!" And the admitted thrower of a grenade last weekend boasted: Scott Allen: "I had to do what I had to do. It's going to take more then some tear gas and a few rubber bullets to stop me lol." (Wednesday at 8:46am via mobile) Scott Allen: "I gota get me a fest 2 shirt. The shirt I wore there last week has blood on it from the rubber bullets lol. Can anyone hook me up" (Wednesday at 8:55am via mobile)
Chris (Kit) Myers April 27, 2012 at 03:45 PM
And I apologize to Jacob Ruby and Ricky Martinez. In reading the Record -Courier article I thought the 'event' they organized was the Fest itself. Kudos to the two for organizing a clean-up. Again, my apologies for the misinterpretation.
Chris (Kit) Myers April 27, 2012 at 03:59 PM
I guess my earlier apology of this morning was cut as a result of it being a reply to a personal attack on me. I don't want anyone to get the impression that I call people names.
Matt Fredmonsky April 27, 2012 at 05:40 PM
Chris, your comment was not the one removed.
Sandra Chalmers April 29, 2012 at 06:47 PM
I think everyone of those kid's should be charged (I say kid's because they don't know how to act as an adult) and if I were one of the parent's of those kid's they would have to earn the money to pay back to the community believe me I had teens and if you don't put the blame were it belongs there will be more trouble it's a no brainer


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