SA considers Party Patrol program

By Susie Snyder

With new levels of concern about complaints of parties in DeKalb comes the need to talk about organizing a Party Patrol program at NIU, Student Association President Jim Fischer said.

The Party Patrol would be modeled after a similar program in effect at Illinois State University, DeKalb City Manager Mark Stevens said.

For the third consecutive year, ISU’s Student Body Board of Directors will work in cooperation with the Normal Police Department to provide the service, Mark Bowman, director of the ISU Student Committee on Community Relations, said.

“When the Normal Police Department gets a complaint, they call us. We go to the party and give (the residents) the complaint. If the police get another complaint, they issue citations,” Bowman said.

Students who have complaints about a party are encouraged to call the Party Patrol instead of the police, Bowman said.

e said with the Party Patrol, 80 percent of ISU complaints did not result in second complaints. This means that police duties also were cut by 80 percent.

Stevens said, “Parties are a normal, expected part of life. It’s only when they cause problems that action must be taken against them.” He said while the program has potential, it has not yet reached the point of serious discussion.

The Party Patrol, informally discussed with DeKalb city, NIU officials and members of the SA, was dropped as an issue last year because it was not on the top of the SA’s priority list, Fischer said.

SA member Sheila McNicholas said, “No overwhelming amount of people saw the program working out.” She said there was also a lack of students volunteering to work. “Who would want to do it without pay?” McNicholas said.

owever, McNicholas also said complaints from student parties in DeKalb residential areas, such as John Street, were getting to be a problem which should be solved soon.

A program similar to the Party Patrol ran a few years ago at NIU, Lt. Charles Beierlotzer of the DeKalb Police Department said. He said the police tried to support the concept, and at first it seemed to work well, but the program ran out of volunteers and funding too quickly to see any significant results.