Show of force for Fake Patty’s

By Katherine Wartell

Fake Patty’s Day revelers will need to watch out for more than just big crowds and spilled beer Saturday. The Riley County Police Department will be launching its most expansive patrol operation since the event began.

RCPD officers will be heavily patrolling Aggieville and the surrounding neighborhoods in far more numbers than previous years, Capt. Tim Hegarty said. They’ll have help from the Kansas State University Police Department, Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Office, Junction City Police Department, Emporia Police Department, Kansas Highway Patrol, Kansas Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control and Riley County Community Corrections.

Hegarty said the assisting police departments will have the same powers as the RCPD, which include arresting and enforcement powers and he said the Kansas Highway Patrol will have saturation patrols around town.

Saturday’s police command center will be operated out of City Park. At 11 a.m., Lt. Josh Kyle said there will be 69 officers and civilian staff working out of the command center, with the numbers increasing at 7 p.m., typically a peak hour on Fake Patty’s Day, to 136 officers and civilian staff and decreasing once again later in the night.

Kyle said the civilian staff will be there to process incidents and help collect evidence so officers will be able to return to patrolling more quickly.

The department issued 480 citations last Fake Patty’s Day, more than twice the number in any previous year. That total included more than 300 citations for traffic and other miscellaneous violations, many of them alcohol related. It also included more than 150 parking citations. Hegarty attributed the higher number of last year to a more pro-active enforcement approach by patrol officers, and he said he expects the numbers to be even higher this year.

Officials said minor in possession of alcoholic beverages, open container, transporting an open container, intoxicated pedestrian in the street and furnishing alcohol to a minor are common offenses.

The Manhattan Fire Department will also have staff in Aggieville from mid-morning until the bars close to monitor overcrowding and Riley County EMS will provide a first aid station at the round house in City Park.

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