‘Patrol’ aims to cease wild parties

Loud music and underage drinking may be the perfect party-mix for most parties in Tallahassee, but your neighbors and the Tallahassee Police Department may disagree.

“If any noise from a resident disturbs neighbors or anyone in your residence, you are in violation of the law,” said Dewey Riou, administrative sergeant for the alpha district and coordinator of party patrol.

Party patrol, which is a division of TPD, is a form of overtime hours for the officers and is enforced on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. On a Friday and Saturday night, the division responds to approximately 40 complaints.

“They come early enough and late enough so that if anyone is having a party they can take care of it,” said Rick Courtemanche, police legal advisor for TPD. TPD’s first step to ceasing a house party is to make contact with the resident of the location of the house party.

According to Riou, if the person who is in charge of the residence is uncooperative, that person can be arrested and charged with breach of peace, also known as disorderly conduct.

“One of the biggest misconceptions is we don’t have to give a warning before we arrest somebody,” Courtemanche said.

Riou said the police department does not make an arrest with every phonecall.A student who attends three to four house parties a month disagrees.

“They don’t hesitate to take us down,” said Marcus King, a 21-year-old juniorcriminal justice student from Jacksonville.

“Our responding to a complaint of a loud house party is based on a noisecomplaint,” Courtemanche said.

“Students are the ones calling in these complaints,” Riou said.

Some students think that Florida State University parties last longer thanFAMU’s parties.

“I have been to both parties hosted by Caucasian people and parties hosted by black people and the couple of Caucasian parties that I have gone to have lasted considerably longer than the people that have gone to FAMU,” said Syreeta Hilliard, 19, a sophomore FSU business management student from Miami.

King agrees, “I have never heard of an FSU party getting broken up.”

TPD arrests more Caucasian males than black males at house parties according toRiou.

“We typically make more arrest on the FSU side than FAMU,” Riou said.Riou also added that house parties predominately occur in the large apartmentcomplexes such as Jefferson Pointe and Frog Pond.

Sergeant Riou’s advice to students is this, “If you want to have a party with200 of your closest friends, go to a bar.”

FYI: To find out more information about the party patrol log on towww.talgov.com.