So it turns out that if you increase police patrols in Center City, it can help cut down on bad behavior by students.
Who would have thought it?
All sarcasm aside, we’re nothing but pleased to see the city addressing the quality-of-life problems that have existed in downtown neighborhoods for years.
When you look at how it happened, it seems so simple.
Residents complained to their Common Council representatives about noise, litter and other problems associated with student traffic through their neighborhoods. The Common Council asked the police chief to increase patrols in the area. And he did.
But really, what took so long?
David Rissberger, who represents the Third Ward, has been particularly vocal about the need for change. It was Rissberger who launched an impromptu neighborhood watch during OH-Fest in the spring, and he has kept that initiative going in his ward.
Rissberger said he and Mike Lynch, who represents the Fourth Ward, were the “most vocal” about the need for more patrols. And it’s no wonder. In addition to housing a number of students who live off-campus, these two wards bear a lot of the brunt of the foot traffic of students making their way to and from the downtown bars.
We applaud Rissberger, Lynch, Police Chief Dennis Nayor and everyone else involved for this effort. It’s a simple and, we hope, effective way to address the problem.
Increased patrols can deter the drunken hordes from the sort of foolish and obnoxious behavior that falls below the level of being criminal, but well within the bounds of being a nuisance. And a patrol car that’s already in the area can respond more quickly to more-serious situations such as fighting or vandalism.
We’re also pleased to see the colleges stepping up to take a more-active role in what their students do off-campus. College officials recently rode along with police patrols, and also made it clear to students that off-campus bad behavior could have on-campus repercussions.
So without taking anything away from any of these people, who are doing fine work, we still wonder what exactly prevented this from happening up to this point.
Police Sgt. Ralph Pajerski told The Daily Star that foot traffic in Center City is common, especially at times when students go to and from parties and bars downtown. Certainly the police department didn’t need Rissberger or Lynch to tell it that. So why did it take a request from the Common Council to increase the patrols?
Guess it’s a case of better late than never.