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College Park steps up St. Patrick's Day security

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Sentinel file photo by Chris Motz. This St. Patrick's Day, police and bars have increased security in College Park.

Sentinel file photo by Chris Motz. This St. Patrick's Day, police and bars have increased security in College Park.

Published on: Friday, March 15, 2013

By Mary Faddoul

St. Patrick’s Day in College Park will have the all the usual details — green, corned beef, shamrocks and beer. Now, increased security is added to the list.

The city — home to college students and several bars — is adding more security this year to avoid problems that may arise from big crowds and intoxicated patrons.

However, the University of Maryland’s spring break begins the weekend of St. Patrick’s Day, which means there could be fewer students in the area. Or, more of the students who opt to stay in College Park may be going out since there are no classes the next day.

Student police aides on foot and in vehicles, in addition to police in downtown College Park, will increase security presence and report anything officers on duty do not see, according to Sgt. Aaron Davis of the University of Maryland Police Department.

“We are also going to have DUI saturation patrols during this time to keep drunk drivers off the roads,” Davis added.

The police did not encounter many problems last year, other than the occasional person too intoxicated to return home and DUI arrests, said Davis.

University of Maryland junior Caroline Niski said there should be more police out on the streets to make sure everyone stays safe because St. Patrick’s Day involves a lot of intoxicated people who think they are able to drive.

“They should probably put more security; more policemen should be out. There already are a lot, especially because it’s a college neighborhood, but there should be more to keep the community safe,” said Karla Felix, who goes through College Park often.

Another action for this St. Patrick’s Day is offered by the Washington Regional Alcohol Program, a nonprofit organization that works to prevent drunk driving and underage drinking. The organization will provide free cab rides for up to a $30 fare in Prince George’s County, from 4 p.m. Sunday to 4 a.m. Monday.

Bars and pubs plan on increasing security for St. Patrick’s Day festivities. Looney’s Pub on Baltimore Avenue will have police officers and security all day, rather than only at night, said manager Nick Creed. Located on the same street is Buffalo Wild Wings, which will have security guards and police starting at 6 p.m., according to manager Ryan McNeil.

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