Warm weather on a Friday night contributed to record turnout for Halloween festivities in Georgetown, and the Metropolitan Police Department prepared for the evening onslaught of crowds by stationing over 400 officers in the area.

Residents said that while crowds were some of the largest they have seen in recent years, Metro’s preparation helped minimize unruly behavior from students and other revelers.

“The police presence on Halloween was massive,” ANC Commissioner Bill Starrels said.

MPD Capt. Michael Jacobs said that the department increased the number of officers in Georgetown because Halloween fell on a Friday.

The number of incidents of unruly behavior was down from last year, when Halloween was on a Thursday, Jacobs said, adding that there were fewer fights and only five arrests.

“It wasn’t really an increase [of incidents] from past years,” Suzie Farmer, president of the West Cloisters Homeowners Association, said. “I really noticed nothing at all. It went well as far as I’m concerned.”

Starrels said that early in the evening, between 8-9 p.m., he noticed about as many police officers as people around M Street, but crowds swelled as the night progressed.

“When I went out around 1-2 a.m., there were more people out than I ever remember seeing, on Halloween or for any event in Georgetown,” he said, adding “I’ve lived here for 15 years.”

According to Starrels, Second District Commander Jeffrey Moore had lobbied hard for the increase in officers in Georgetown, which increased from nearly 150 officers last year.

“Officers around here exceeded our expectations,” he said, “and we’re very pleased about the large presence.”

University officials said that the university did receive more complaints than was usual for a Friday night, but cautioned that increased traffic in Georgetown, from students and non-students, contributed to greater noise levels.

“We did have more complaints, but this is not at all surprising,” Charles VanSant, director of off-campus student life, said. “We’re not sure if it was all Georgetown students or other people out, or probably a mix of both.”

Starrels said that despite a strong, coordinated presence on Friday night, police presence has been lacking in recent weeks, prompting the Advisory Neighborhood Commission to take up the issue at tonight’s monthly meeting.

Pedestrian traffic has increased around Prospect Street, which has become a main throughway since 900 students moved into the Southwest Quad at the beginning of the school year.

While university officials and residents alike hoped to see a decrease in unruly behavior on weekends with the opening of the Southwest Quad, residents remain concerned that noise levels remain high on weekends.

“We’ve got some real hot spots in Burleith,” ANC Administrator and Burleith resident Bonnie Hardy said.

Farmer said that the narrow driveways and tall apartments of the Cloisters, located at 37th Street and Reservoir Road, add to noise pollution.

“Students cut through the Cloisters when going between Georgetown and Burleith and in the Cloisters even a little noise is really magnified, especially at 3 a.m.,” she said. “It’s definitely been a problem.”

University officials said that they remain aware of these problems and are working to address them. SafeRides began operating one shuttle on a fixed route along Prospect Street to help reduce pedestrian traffic and noise problems on weekends.

Farmer said that despite problems created by students, the university has been receptive.

“The university has been great to deal with,” she said. “I can call them up and they’re always really great.”

An increased university police presence, Farmer said, would help cut down on continuing student noise issues.

“We talked about hiring some private security, but why should we have to pay for it when it’s not our responsibility,” she said.

Starrels said he hopes that MPD can maintain a strong police presence in the neighborhood on non-peak nights.

“We have to make sure that we get even coverage,” he said.

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