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Copyright 2014 Dayton Newspapers, Inc.
Dayton Daily News (Ohio)
By Jessica Heffner

DAYTON - It cost Dayton police more than $32,000 in unplanned overtime to help control the chaos on the University of Dayton campus as fans celebrated the Flyers' wins during March Madness.

The volume of people who flooded the streets- 3,000 strong during the largest celebration on March 27- rivaled St. Patrick's Day in 2013 and overall proved more volatile than any event Dayton police has handled in the past two decades, said Assistant Chief Robert Chabali.

A Dayton police report, obtained exclusively by the Springfield News-Sun, indicates 327 officers from 14 jurisdictions were called in to provide mutual aid to control the crowds on the UD campus following post-season basketball games on March 22, 27 and 29. In total, Dayton paid 115 offi - cers for overtime between the three days. There were also additional officers already scheduled to work those nights who were dispatched to UD to help with crowd control, Chabali said.

Since the departments were called in to assist as part of the region's mutual aid agreement, any costs incurred, including overtime, will have to be covered by that department and it will not reimbursed by UD.

A final tally of overtime from all responding jurisdictions, including UD police, was not immediately available, officials said. A final after-action report tallying costs, injuries and damage for all jurisdictions is expected to be completed by Dayton police within the next week.

The Flyers' run was worth celebrating, but the police response required to "deal with a bunch of 20, 19, 22 year olds" at UD meant increased costs, reduced manpower to respond to other public safety issues and danger to officers who were not viewed favorably by revelers, Chabali said. It's up to the university to enforce stiff penalties on students during such events in an effort to send a message that this behavior will not be tolerated, he said.

"It's not a Dayton Police Department problem, it's a University of Dayton problem," Chabali said. "There has been no celebration this year where... the kids have taken the streets and it has gone away. It has always escalated to violence, property damage, disrespect and neighbors calling."

Ultimately, he said, future celebrations will require greater scrutiny by the university. UD officials said Friday they are making those plans.

"The university is already assessing the experiences of the past few weeks and looking for what worked well as well as what could be done differently," a UD spokesperson said in a statement. "We will continue to work with the Dayton Police Department in our review as well as in planning and preparations for future occurrences."

The Dayton Police Department is gathering data from other police jurisdictions to determine the level of personal damage sustained during the celebrations, and get a better idea of the number of injuries, officials said. Preliminary reports indicate three cars were damaged, three couches burned and a porch roof collapsed at a home on Kiefaber Street. The streets were so crowded when the roof collapsed that firefighters were unable to respond to the scene.

Chabali called UD's win against Ohio State University on March 20 a "nonevent" because any celebrations did not require Dayton police to respond. On March 22, after beating Syracuse, 130 officers from 14 departments were on hand as about 2,000 students took to the streets. Five people were arrested, including four UD students.

Only 72 officers from five departments were on hand March 27 during what Chabali said was the most "volatile" celebration on campus during March Madness. Students sent tweets, encouraging each other to flood the streets if the Flyers won. It took officers in riot gear several hours to clear the streets. Revelers pelted officers with beer cans, glass bottles and rocks along Kiefaber, and one man faces felony charges for punching a Dayton sergeant in the face. In total, Chabali said six UD officers, three Dayton officers and one from Five Rivers Metro Parks were injured. Some were checked out at the hospital, and several were on leave due to their injuries.

In total, 27 arrests were made, totaling 39 charges.


April 4, 2014




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