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Police say number of arrests, incidents comparable to last year

By Katherine Wartell

Police officers were out in full force Saturday to contend with the yearly drinking celebration that is Fake Patty’s Day. While they were kept busy throughout the day, officials said there were no major issues, and incidents were more or less comparable to those in 2012.

Matthew Droge, public information officer for the Riley County Police Department, said that as of 6 p.m. on Saturday, officers had made 40 arrests, filed 203 reports and responded to 289 calls for service.

Those numbers represent activity from 6 p.m. on Friday to 6 p.m. on Saturday.

Droge said the charges included alcohol-related violations, DUIs and drug arrests, and were mainly related to alcohol.

All sworn officers in the department, of which there are about 77, who were uninjured worked the day in some capacity, Droge said.

Police and emergency personnel worked out of their temporary command center in City Park, where those arrested were taken for processing before they were transferred to the Riley County Jail.

Droge said there was a marked difference between the afternoon and the evening, particularly once the rain stopped, but at press time, he said he would not characterize this year’s celebration as being any uglier or worse than previous years.

He said the peak hours for trouble tend to be during bar closings at 2 a.m.

But officers made a notable arrest early Saturday morning, Droge said, after they executed a search warrant in a man’s hotel room and found LSD, methamphetamine and numerous prescription pills.

Droge said police were alerted to the man, who is believed to have come from Pottawatomie County for the festivities, after reports that he was using a fake ID. Droge said based upon the amount of illegal substances found, officers believe he intended to distribute them.

The man, who was not identified, is confined on $6,000 bond.

Droge said that officers also responded to several house parties and noise complaints. By 3 p.m. on Saturday he said, there were 28 noise complaints and 39 alcohol violations, though those numbers grew during the day.

This year marked the first time the department used Twitter to disseminate information during Fake Patty’s.

The department, whose Twitter handle is @RileyCountyPD, began tweeting updates Saturday morning warning citizens to stay safe with such tweets like, “Now we have had fewer arrests than last year, but calls into the PD are higher. Remember to be responsible and not a statistic,” and “22 arrests so far, help your friends stay out of trouble and remember to drink responsibly.”

Riley County officers had the assistance of the Kansas State University Police Department, Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Office, Junction City Police Department, Emporia Police Department, Lyon County Sheriff’s Office, Kansas Highway Patrol, Kansas Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control and Riley County Community Corrections.

Full arrest and incident information will become available throughout the next week.

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