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City, UCD police release final Picnic Day statistics

A shouting argument Saturday evening near Sophia’s Thai Kitchen in downtown Davis was quickly controlled by other members of the crowd along that block of E Street. Wayne Tilcock/Enterprise photo

By
April 19, 2011 |

By the numbers

The Davis Police Department made the following arrests and citations between 6 p.m. Friday and 2 a.m. Sunday:

Arrests – 54
Public intoxication: 32
Public intoxication/resisting arrest: 6
Felony assault/resisting arrest: 1
DUI: 9
Fighting: 3 (including 2 who resisted arrest)
Cocaine possession: 1
Domestic violence: 1
Outstanding arrest warrant: 1

Citations – 207
Open container of alcohol in public: 124 (118 in safety enhancement zone)
Minor in possession of alcohol: 37
Urinating in public: 20
Open container of alcohol in vehicle: 4
Furnishing alcohol to minor: 3
Littering: 2
Noise ordinance violation: 11
Marijuana possession: 5
Smoking ordinance violation: 1

UC Davis police made 10 arrests and issued 62 citations, most for alcohol-related violations.

California Highway Patrol officers issued 61 tickets for various vehicle code violations and impounded nine cars.

Previous Davis PD Picnic Day activity:

2010: 38 arrests (30 misdemeanor, 6 felony); 60 citations
2009: 32 arrests (30 misdemeanor, 2 felony); 83 citations
2008: 19 arrests (17 misdemeanor, 2 felony); 101 citations
2007: 19 arrests (all misdemeanors); 98 citations

The numbers are in.

Davis police made more arrests and issued more citations during the Picnic Day 2011 enforcement period compared to the year before. However, there were fewer felony arrests and reports of violent incidents.

All told, city officers arrested 54 people and issued 207 citations for various offenses — the majority of them alcohol-related — between 6 p.m. Friday and 4 a.m. Sunday. Last year, there were 38 arrests and 60 citations during the same time frame.

UC Davis police, meanwhile, said their Picnic Day activity included 10 arrests and 62 citations that also mostly stemmed from alcohol consumption.

The uptick in enforcement likely can be attributed to the increased police presence on campus, around downtown Davis and along Russell Boulevard during the weekend festivities.

In 2010, officers found themselves so overwhelmed by what they called a “Mardi-Gras atmosphere” that they were unable to respond to some of the 545 calls for service.

But police are holding off on analyzing the numbers for now.

In a news release issued Monday afternoon, Lt. Paul Doroshov said his department “is not prepared to issue any opinions about whether this year’s Picnic Day was better or worse than last year.”

“However, while the record of our enforcement actions may provide a sense of the types and volume of activity in which enforcement activity was taken, the Police Department’s overall perception of things is that there were fewer crimes of violence (reported and not reported) than during Picnic Day 2010,” Doroshov said.

He continued: “While there was a significant amount of alcohol-driven disorder, the Davis downtown area seemed a safer place than last year. The reasons and explanations for these phenomena — good and bad — will be the subject of soon-to-be-held after-action reviews and critiques.”

A previously planned “de-briefing” meeting for the Picnic Day working group, comprising city and university officials, police, local business representatives and various student groups, is scheduled for Wednesday.

It will include a member of the Davis Downtown Business Association, whose director, Joy Cohan, said Tuesday that business owners’ reactions to Saturday’s events have been mixed.

“The restaurants and bars continued to do good business, and we certainly appreciate those who participated in the Picnic Day covenant,” Cohan said, referring to the pledge by more than 60 businesses to refrain from early-morning alcohol sales and other booze promotions.

But for retail-oriented merchants, “there was still a lot of mayhem, a lot of intoxicated people walking into businesses,” Cohan said. Owners complained of broken merchandise, vomiting in restrooms and other disruptions.

“I’m hearing more and more retailers say, ‘I’m thinking about closing next year,’ ” Cohan said. “While it felt safe, it came at the price of a heavily uniformed presence.”

The increased enforcement was most apparent in the so-called “safety-enhancement zone” that doubled fines for certain infractions in the downtown area and along Russell Boulevard.

Davis police received mutual aid from more than a half-dozen other law-enforcement agencies, including the California Highway Patrol, Yolo County Sheriff’s Department, the California Departments of Fish and Game and Alcoholic Beverage Control, and the Woodland, Winters and West Sacramento police departments.

UCD police, meanwhile, forged a stronger unified command with city police that included reinforcement from officers from UC Berkeley, Merced, San Francisco and Santa Cruz, as well as Sacramento State University.

Like Doroshov, UCD police Lt. Matt Carmichael was reluctant to theorize too much about the arrest statistics.

“The numbers are what they are,” he said Tuesday. “I’m not willing to draw any conclusions at this point.”

However, Carmichael did cite several “successes,” including a more spread-out campus activity layout that reduced crowd density and improved police response.

Officers assigned to Unitrans buses “made for a more comfortable experience and a safer environment for the driver,” Carmichael added.

— Reach Lauren Keene at lkeene@davisenterprise.net or (530) 747-8048.

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