On Saturday night the Middletown Police Department (MPD) and Public Safety (PSafe) were called to the Psi Upsilon (Psi U) house to break up a fight that occurred as a party ended. According to Director of Public Safety Dave Meyer, it is normal PSafe procure to call the MPD when any type of violence occurs on campus.
“There was a fight with a lot of people, so it’s not unusual to call Middletown Police for assistance,” he said. “When we have a large crowd of individuals and any kind of violence or failure to comply, the police are called in. At least one fight broke out, so we felt we needed Middletown Police assistance.”
Michelle Agresti ’14, who was at Psi U when the alleged fight occurred, said she thought it was unusual to see MPD bring a police dog into the house.
“I’ve been at the end of Psi U parties before, but I’ve never seen them bring in dogs,” she said.
Meyer said that the MPD often brings police dogs on the scene when there is a large crowd that needs to be dispersed, which he said was the case at Psi U on Saturday.
“[The dog] is a tool that’s used in the presence of and help with dispersion of crowds,” he said.
According to Meyer, no students were arrested, but the MPD will be called in similar situations like this in the future.
“When you get an assault you call the cops, that’s the trigger, and when people are involved in physical violence, we need backup,” he said.
Psi U Vice President Simon Edmonds-Langham ’14 acknowledged that assistance from PSafe and MPD was necessary to shut down the party at the scheduled time, but said that the use of dogs was unnecessary.
“The arrival of extra Public Safety officers was warranted, but the K9 unit was a terrifying and deeply troubling way to end what had been a great night,” Edmonds-Langham said. “This was an example of Public Safety escalating their crowd control efforts beyond what has ever been necessary for any Psi U event in recent history. Whatever the reasoning behind the decision, the situation raises a lot of interesting questions about campus security.”