Safety a paramount concern

Winter Carnival means many things to many people. For students, it is often an excuse for excessive drinking. For local law enforcement officers, it is an opportunity for overtime.

During last year’s Winter Carnival, Hanover Police alone arrested 18 students, eight of those cases involving unlawful possession of alcohol.

Safety and Security reported that it encountered 16 alcohol violations, nine accidental minor injuries and three fire safety violations during the 2004 holiday.

In response to the anticipated illegal and illicit behavior that will distinguish the weekend, Safety and Security has hired additional officers to safeguard the campus. In an interview with The Dartmouth, College Proctor Harry Kinne said approximately two additional officers will be on patrol during party hours, and increased presence will be felt at special events, including the Occom Pond polar bear swim and various weekend sports games.

While the weekend tally of students found in violation of College policy will almost surely be higher than usual, Kinne stressed that his department’s intention is not to detain more students.

“We just want everyone to be nice and safe and have an enjoyable weekend,” Kinne said. “Our goal isn’t to catch people doing wrong.”

Unlike the amplified efforts of College Safety & Security, Hanover Police Chief Nicholas Giaccone said his department is not making special arrangements for the Carnival weekend.

“We’ve had off-weekends that have been busier than major College holiday weekends,” Giaccone said.

Giaccone said that unlike homecoming weekend in the fall, when the bonfire attracts police and fire officers in droves, no central, defining or dangerous event marks the Carnival holiday.

Consequently, both security agencies go about planning for the weekend in anticipation of increased College and state liquor codes. In addition, Kinne said that the winter timing of the weekend does add to his concerns for student safety.

“Its cold out there, and we want to make sure everyone gets home safely,” Kinne said.

Kinne added that Safety and Security plans to focus its resources on residence halls and other locations where students tend to congregate. Judging from past experience, he also expects Friday to be a busier night for his officers than Saturday evening.

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