Bellingham police increase 'party patrols' in wake of riot

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by KING 5 News

KREM.com

Posted on October 19, 2013 at 8:18 AM

Bellingham police are teaming up with Western Washington University Police and Whatcom County sheriff's deputies to beef up their "party patrol" efforts in the wake of last week's party-turned-riot.

In addition to increasing staff on the patrols, Bellingham police plan to use their "party bus" to respond to problem parties. The Whatcom County Sheriff's Office will also provide their "mobile booking vehicle" to help process any arrested individuals.

 "Parties that get out of control are not only a noise or nuisance concern, they are a public safety issue. And we will not tolerate any outbreaks of violence," Bellingham Police Chief Clifford Cook said in a released statement.

Police say they're not trying to ban parties, but are responding to complaints of loud or disorderly conduct in residential neighborhoods.

Officers broke up a large party last Saturday night in the courtyard of the Jersey Street Apartments. But many partiers moved to a nearby Laurel Park, where the crowd grew and clashed with police. Glass bottles and cinder blocks were among the objects that damaged patrol cars and injured officers before the SWAT team could disperse the crowd.

Four people have been arrested in the incident, including one WWU student. Police were also asking the public's help in identifying several people captured on surveillance video during the riot.

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