Is your party safe from interruption?

Laura Haatvedt

Laura Haatvedt

On any given Friday night, a party rocks somewhere in Brookings.

Sometimes the police catch wind of these parties. Sometimes they don’t.

Sometimes residents call in complaints, sometimes they don’t.

But there will always be parties and there will always be arrests when those parties are busted.

In 2001, the Brookings Police Department issued 27 common nuisance violations. A common nuisance violation is a gathering in which alcohol is being served illegally, according to Brookings Police Chief Tim Tompkins.

The common nuisance violation can carry up to a $1000 fine as well as jail time.

In 2002, that number jumped to 46 common nuisance violations. While enrollment has been increasing in recent years, it does not account for the 70 percent jump in the number of citations.

“Of course, the cops are our biggest concern with house parties,” SDSU sophomore Brady King said. “Then there are the common risks associated with people drinking too much. We really try and watch out for that kind of stuff.”

Tompkins also has concerns about parties getting out of control to the point of being unsafe.

“In the past, people hosting these parties wouldn’t get in any trouble, so a lot of times they didn’t really care what went on,” Tompkins said.

Now, people hosting these parties must appear in court.

“We never plan these parties; they just sort of happen. But we try to keep things low-key,” King said. “You know, no people outside, just keep things on the down-low, that sort of stuff.”

Oftentimes, residents and community members will call in with complaints regarding a noisy house nearby, according to Tompkins.

“We have a duty and we have no choice to respond,” Tompkins said. “The vast majority of the time we get a complaint that we have to investigate; we don’t go out looking for them. That’s not to say, though, that officers won’t find something or address a situation that they come upon.”

Officers typically cite all common nuisance violations they address. Otherwise the issue of fairness comes into play.

“Cops in this town have a reputation for kind of screwing people over,” King said.

Tompkins said that they try to be fair to everyone, students or otherwise, and letting one person off but not the next person just wouldn’t be fair.

“Parties aren’t all about getting drunk,” King said. “It’s a chance to get together and socialize. It’s a chance to sit back and relax.”

#1.886746:1859707488.jpg:Party.jpg:These revellers have fun at a recent party. All partiers worry their parties will be busted. This one, fortunately, wasn?t.: