Homecoming—it’s one of the biggest days for students, alumni and fans, but what does the jam-packed day of events mean for the Butler University Police Department?
BUPD Chief of Police Ben Hunter said their security assignments are not much different from any other main event that happens on campus.
“We always increase security for any events—homecoming, family weekend, whatever,” Hunter said. “It’s not because we think something is more likely to happen, but anytime you bring large amounts of people to campus, it’s best to increase our presence.”
Besides added security for events leading up to the game, the actual game security assignments were the same as usual.
Hunter said the department was not expecting any trouble, but was expecting to have more people to move in and out of the event.
He said the main job of security is to be aware of what’s going on at events and guide anyone who is in need of directions.
Hunter said there was not any premature warnings or threats to campus that students needed to worry about—last year, the school did receive a bomb threat during the Final Four showing in Hinkle Fieldhouse.
As far as the homecoming parties and underage drinking, Hunter said the university was “not specifically looking for action.” He said the only reason police ever investigate parties is due to neighborhood complaints.
“Party responsibly and the police won’t be invited,” he said. “Party irresponsibly and the police will be invited, and not from the host.”
Hunter said if there were complaints or officers noticed anyone acting out-of-line, the department was obligated to follow up.
He said they have been far more proactive in reaching out to students. It was part of their responsibility in watching over students’ health and safety.
Junior Katie Melone said she thought BUPD was not as approachable.
“I thought BUPD was a lot more overbearing than normal,” Melone said. “I thought they made themselves unapproachable by students who might be in need of assistance because they seemed to take a stand against the underage drinking.”
BUPD’s “homecoming after action preliminary report” showed one arrest for public intoxication, four students given medical attention for intoxication and three summons for arrest for minor consumption.
There were also two thefts reported—one involving someone entering the game and stealing a Morehead State player’s helmet and the other involving a student detained for stealing traffic cones.
Another student-voiced concern was the parking limitations for the morning homecoming activities, though Hunter said the zone enforcements were not in effect for the weekend.
He said he estimated the loss of seventy spots from the parking regulations along Sunset and Hampton.
He hadn’t foreseen any huge issues with clearing the streets since the staff parking would be less full and housing unit share lots. Hunter also said the department had given out pamphlets to all of the housing units about the parking limitations that would be in affect to let students know they were welcome to move their cars to the lower bowl area.
He said the parking bans were put in effect to allow homecoming traditions such as the Sigma Chi Chariot Races and the annual homecoming parade to be possible.
“These are only a temporary [parking] ban we are enforcing at the requests of students,” Hunter said.
He said because it was a student-requested ban, students should understand that BUPD was trying to make the day as enjoyable as possible and though it might have been inconvenient for some, they did what was best for the entire student body.
The “homecoming after action preliminary report” noted seven total vehicles towed from campus on Saturday.
Hunter said in the future, BUPD might consider making separate parking maps for homecoming weekend so students wouldn’t have any uncertainty about where extra parking is available.
He also said BUPD is more than happy to work with student organizations to make sure all of the events run smoothly.
“Homecoming is a university-wide effort to be supported by everyone and BUPD is happy to do their part.”