The cop carriage awaits

By Linsey Garrison, Staff Writer

Students flooded out of the residence halls and into the bars last Thursday night on Sept. 28 to take part in “First Thursday.” The night proved to be eventful for the EWU and Cheney police departments.
Corporal Elvin Bermudez estimated that at least a dozen separate incidents occurred that required police or medical assistance.
“Overall, we have a lot of good students, it’s just a select few that decide to make problems or get in fights,” said Bermudez.
Multiple police agencies were on duty and prepared to deal with students and party-goers who had decided to have too much to drink.
Seven EWU police officers, including Chief Tim Walters, five Cheney police officers, including Chief John Hensley, two state patrol officers, two county sheriffs and a Washington state liquor control board officer were all present at various locations in downtown Cheney.
Several EWU officials also decided to ride along with police and do a few walk-throughs of the downtown bars. Stacy Reese, Samantha Armstrong and Stacy Morgan Foster were joined by the new Dean of Students Amy Johnson.

As the calls started rolling around midnight, officers began scattering to various locations around downtown Cheney and residential areas to aid students who had partied a little too hard or gotten out of hand.
The majority of calls for the night were medical related. Paramedics were called when a student fell and injured her head in a parking lot near Goofy’s bar.
Officers checked on various other students through out the night who were sick from drinking too much and were reported by friends or neighbors when they were seen vomiting outside or on sidewalks.
At least two fights occurred at the Basement and several suspects initially fled the scene. A suspect was later apprehended a few blocks away.
A citation was also given to a resident for having open containers. An officer drove by a house and noticed a group of people had set up a beer pong table in their side yard and were actively playing beer pong.
“A lot of people come here [to Cheney] and think that ‘[the police officers] are from little old podunk Cheney. They can’t handle us, we can get away with stuff,’“ said Bermudez, “but really most of our officers come from or worked in other places that are really big like New York.”
“Last Thursday of the year last quarter was crazier than this First Thursday,” said Bermudez. “When all the seniors are partying for the last time before graduation they get worse. Last [Thursday] someone was throwing hamburgers at cars, they hit someone through an open window and the person wanted to press charges.”
Dean of Students Amy Johnson sent out a letter on Sept. 28 urging students to make better choices during the coming weekend.
“We are concerned by the number of student behavior incidents recently, some resulting in arrests. Please know that the EWU and Cheney Police will be out in full force in order to ensure our safety and security,” said Johnson.
Deputy Chief Gary Gassling noted that while a fair amount of non-students make their way to Cheney for events like First Thursday, it’s mostly EWU students who get in trouble in Cheney.
“Lots of WSU and GU students come here for [this event] but our students leave and go to [WSU and GU’s] campuses too. Sometimes we get calls from other university’s police department about one of our students, and sometimes we have to call them about one of their students,” said Gassling.