Just a few weeks into the Metropolitan Police Department’s “party patrols,” and Second District officials are calling the program a success.

MPD Second District Commander Andrew Solberg said that the new foot patrols – which were instituted last month to crack down on local noise violations – have led to a decrease in the number of unruly student parties.

“We’ve made a lot of different arrests, although I don’t think we’ve arrested anyone at a party. There’s been a reduction in the overall number [of arrests] – however, what we continue to get is the same type of violators,” he said.

The new patrols – which Solberg has repeatedly referred to as the “party patrol” – consists of one set of two officers at all times each patrolling one of three areas in the Second District – West Georgetown, Burleith and Georgetown Waterfront. Two regular patrols have been commissioned to break up noisy parties or gatherings that can be heard from the sidewalk and arrest party hosts for noise violations when appropriate.

MPD Second District Sergeant Gwendolyn Mapp also said that the new patrol has lowered the number of rowdy get-togethers, calling it a “success in the making.”

“There have not been as many disorderly parties in the area, and students are for the most part complying with the regulations. It’s a good thing,” she said.

Some students living in Burleith, however, have said that they find the patrols to be excessive.

Burleith resident Kelly O’Shea (SFS ’08) said that PD arrived at her house after a party that she described as “small” and “quiet.”

“We felt it was unjustified,” she said. “It was a small gathering, and we were not excessively loud.”

O’Shea said that she is bothered by the increased MPD presence in Burleith “has fostered resentment and tension between the student residents and other residents and made all students feel unwelcome in the neighborhood.”

O’Shea also said that on that occasion, the police said if they ever heard noise from her house again, they would arrest everyone who was on the lease.

“That has discouraged our house from having anyone over at all, even in a setting outside a party, and makes us feel uncomfortable in our own house.”

Shawn Marhamati (COL ’08), who also lives in Burleith, said that noise ordinances haven’t been enforced consistently.

“I’ve had ragers with over 50 people in my house and in my backyard [that] have not gotten broken up, and then other nights I’ve been outside having a conversation in my backyard and I’ve gotten three police cars and a noise violation,” he said.

Marhamati said that the “party patrol” will not serve as deterrents to socializing but will instead increase tensions in the neighborhood.

“We won’t stop throwing parties, and people won’t stop coming to them,” he said.

Solberg said that in addition to reducing local noise, the new patrols will enforce code violations and fire code violations.

“What we want, overall, is a peaceful community. We’re not out here to arrest people or cite them with regulatory violations,” he said. “It’s completely unfair for these parties to keep going on and wake people up all hours of the night.”

The patrol is part of D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty’s city-wide plan to boost foot patrols and increase MPD visibility in D.C. neighborhoods. The call for increased patrols came after four people were shot and killed in the District in one weekend last month.

DPS Director Darryl Harrison said the increased patrols can only improve safety in neighborhoods around campus.

“We are always pleased to get extra attention from PD,” he said.

– Hoya Staff Writer Richie Frohlichstein contributed to this report.

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