The countdown is underway to this year’s block party! Festivities are expected to occur on Saturday April 12, 2014. According to the Bloomsburg Police Department “over the past several years, block party has grown exponentially and so have the problems associated with it.” Each year the streets of Bloomsburg are flooded with thousands of students and enforcement has been strict. But have they gone too far?
During Bloomsburg block party 2013, a riot vehicle pulled up on Fetterman Avenue trying to disperse a crowd of about 300 students. Yes, it was a large group gathered in a small area, but there was no fighting or major disturbance that occurred previous to their arrival. Teargas bombs were thrown and policemen in riot gear armed with canisters of mace roamed the area. Although their intentions were only to secure safety, many feel that they used excessive tactics and the issue could have been resolved in a much better way.
This year students have been informed that the Town of Bloomsburg “follows a zero tolerance policy related to underage drinking, public drunkenness and driving under the influence.” Enforcement warned students that fines could exceed 600 dollars with certain violations such as “social gatherings where alcohol is present and more then 150 people are present.” As students prepare for this annual event, they worry about the intensity of the Police Department this year. Rumors have been spread throughout the town that officers from multiple counties will be called in, along with a K9 squad, helicopters to hover the area, and of course riot vehicles such as the Bearcat. A little crazy, right?
The goal is for everyone has a fun filled, and most importantly safe block party this year. It is a day meant for enjoying the nice weather and company of your fellow classmates and friends. We can only hope that things don’t get too out of hand.