Aug 222005
Authors: Vimal Patel

A program created to combat unruly partiers has morphed into a newcomer welcome program and will kick off its fifth year at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Fort Collins police and city staff will team up with CSU police, students and staff to cover 28 neighborhoods around campus to inform local residents about pertinent local issues, including important laws, responsible partying tips and safety.

"It's such a great opportunity for the campus and the community to get together and welcome new students and residents," said Ginny Sawyer, neighborhood administrator for Neighborhood Services.

Each of the 28 neighborhoods will be canvassed by a team of four community members, who will attempt to knock on doors and talk to residents personally, but will leave fliers if no one answers.

The program was started in the late 90s, said Fort Collins Police Lt. Jerry Schiager, to combat problems with out-of-control local parties. When the problem was alleviated, the program, dubbed Community Welcome, took a three-year hiatus.

However, the program was reinstated in 2001. The following year, it was instrumental in providing Fort Collins residents with information about a local rapist.

When the program was reinstated, the focus again, aside from the year the town's attention was focused on the rapist, was on curbing disruptive parties and heavy drinking.

"The key message is how to be a good neighbor," Schiager said of the program, "how to have a party without making cops come to your house."

Schiager also said he wants residents to know what to do if a party they throw goes out of control and how to deal with party crashers. One call to the Fort Collins police department is all it takes to defuse any dangerous situation, he said.

"If (students looking for parties) decide yours is the place, it can get out of control pretty quick," he said.

Schiager said that party violations are common around the CSU area. Dozens of party-related tickets are written weekly, he said. A party violation can occur due to a variety of reasons, including disturbing noise levels and urinating in the street.

"It's up to the officer to make a determination of what impact it has on the neighborhood," he said.

Students and residents who throw parties that careen out of control are encouraged to call the police at 221-6540.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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