The San Luis Obispo Police Department (SLOPD) joined forces with the Cal Poly and Cuesta campus police departments on Tuesday, Feb. 7 to promote their “Party is Still Over” campaign for Mardi Gras.
The three police agencies met at the SLOPD office on Walnut Street for a briefing that concerned handing out door-hangers to student neighborhoods near Cal Poly, including Mustang Village and Cedar Creek, two weeks prior to Mardi Gras.
“Our efforts (with the door-hanger campaign) were really effective last year,” said San Luis Obispo Police Chief Deborah Linden in a press conference Tuesday. “We don’t want anything to be a surprise (to students) that weekend concerning police activity.”
Linden said that their current efforts have two purposes for Mardi Gras. They want to present information to residents in the area near the Cal Poly campus and work with the students to make a smooth operation for the weekend. On Tuesday, Linden spoke to officers concerning handing out flyers to residents in the area.
“The tone that we (SLOPD) want you (SLOPD officers) to take is one of asking for their (the students and community’s) help,” she said in a press conference before sending officers to deliver the message.
“That really worked last year. This is an outreach, us going to the people that live in the most affected area where the riot was in 2004 and go to them and simply asking them for their help to prevent any future violence on Mardi Gras weekend,” Linden said.
She added that there are still some hard feelings out there, but the police are reaching out to the community.
Today, the three police departments will hand out flyers to student residences near Foothill Boulevard and California Avenue.
“We want you (officers) to leave them with information, feeling free to answer any questions and having that one-on-one contact,” Linden said.
Some students were willing to cooperate with the police departments in order to keep Mardi Gras weekend safe for all.
“SLOPD always keeps it in control,” said Josh Olson, a Cuesta student. “If everyone works together then there shouldn’t be a problem.”
Other students believed that despite authorities’ efforts, it may not be enough.
“I think it’s cool,” said Dana Stringer, a political science freshman and Mustang Village resident. “I’m not sure how well it (police efforts) will work, because people will still party.”
Linden said she is happy with the efforts of SLOPD last year and their efforts to work with residents this year.
“It really feels like the community is pulling together very well,” Linden said. “We’ve gotten great cooperation with local businesses and both student and community groups.”