AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – With a little more than a month to go, Amherst police are getting ready for the annual “Blarney Blowout,” which resulted in dozens of arrests after things got out of control last year.
The department has held numerous meetings with state police and UMass police to go over tactics on how to best manage the large crowds and disturbances, which have been known to occur on that last weekend before Spring Break. In a statement posted Thursday on the Amherst town website, the police added that they have also been in touch with university officials, and local businesses, such as package stores, bars, and restaurants. Additionally, they have been working with surrounding law enforcement departments that could be called in needed on the weekend of March 7.
They are also keeping track of possible happenings through social media.
“Amherst Police have been continually monitoring social media as it relates to anticipated events on March 7,” the statement reads.
Former Boston police commissioner Ed Davis was hired to review police procedures at last year’s Blarney Blowout, in which four officers were hurt, and law enforcement actions drew claims of police brutality. In a 65-page report released in September, Davis said that the police “prematurely” used pepper spray and foggers, and did not have a written plan to deal with the event. UMass was faulted for a lack of enforcement of their policies, and all parties were criticized for a lack of communication.