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How The Bloomsburg Police Prepare for Block Party

By Kashmyre Meixel, Contributing Writer

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    The annual Bloomsburg Block Party results in thousands of young adults flooding the town on Fetterman Ave every year. The all-day party is filled with lots of drinking, also with lots of arrests. So, how do the police prepare for the event?

     Chief of Police Rodger Van Loan said the preparation starts as early as the next day. By just comparing to previous years. Also by looking into what went wrong, and then what they would like to change for the next year. Since Block Party has been going on since 1993, the real preparations don’t start until closer to April, because they’ve “been around the block” a few times. When it’s time to prepare for the event, the Bloomsburg Police recruit about 50 police officers to help monitor the participants. The officers come from departments all within Columbia County, and surrounding areas, said Van Loan. When the police officers are hired to work at Block Party Van Loan mentioned how the mutual aid agreement gives officers from different areas full jurisdiction in Bloomsburg for the day of the event.

     One of the most infamous components of Block Party are the police horses that are present on Fetterman Ave. The police officers who monitor from the horses are PA State Policemen. When asked why officers on horses are requested every year, Van Loan said that it’s a big asset to have the officers mounted, so they can see above the crowd. As well as, horses being the right trained animal to deal with big crowds.

     The annual Block Party at Bloomsburg has seen some wild moments. From the use of tear gas, as well as a bearcat vehicle to settle the out-of-control crowds. When asked what size the crowd has to get to use tools like that again, Van Loan said that the amount of people doesn’t matter. Consequences at Block Party happen because of the actions of the crowd. If there are too many fights occurring, damages to property, and the overall safety of participants is becoming questioned, the police are forced to do something.

     From the thousands of young adults who attend Block Party, it’s no secret to the students of Bloomsburg that the locals of the town aren’t the biggest fans of the event. As statistics of past years show, the largest group of people getting citations and arrested are non-BU students. Van Loan noted that, people who don’t attend Bloomsburg just don’t have respect for the area. Even though Block Party can be pretty dangerous for people who aren’t drinking responsibly, the amount of young adults just enjoying the event in a respectable manner are higher.


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How The Bloomsburg Police Prepare for Block Party