Mansfield builds relationship with UConn
In a photo captured earlier this year, Mansfield Town Council members, including Bill Ryan, far right, discuss local issues. In last night’s meeting, the local issue at hand was Mansfield’s strained, yet successful relationship with UConn. PHOTO FILE/THE DAILY CAMPUS
The Mansfield Town Council met Monday night to discuss issues affecting its citizens. Chief among these issues was the relations between the town of Mansfield and the University of Connecticut.
Mansfield Resident State Trooper Sgt. Richard Cournoyer gave an update on this relationship during the meeting. Cournoyer said that the Resident State Troopers have been working with the UConn Police Department to improve safety for off-campus and Mansfield residents.
The State Troopers held an informational session for residents of Carriage House during this semester. 193 of Carriage's 220 tenants, as well as a number of Mansfield residents, attended the meeting. In addition, members of both the Carriage House Management and the UConn Police Department were also present. Police expectations for safety and security were set for Carriage residents during this session.
Cournoyer also met with other off-campus landlords to set up security and guest policies, and went door-to-door during Halloween weekend to remind off-campus residents of these policies. No major crowds have been present all season at Carriage House, according to Cournoyer.
"So far, it's been pretty quiet this year at Carriage, or just in general, compared to past years," said Cournoyer.
Only two assaults have been reported the entire fall semester, said Cournoyer. Additionally, charges of possession of alcohol by a minor have noticeably decreased since last fall, as have EMS emergency medical calls.
"It seems that there has been a change in the attitudes of UConn students, to the point where direct police intervention has not been as necessary as in the past to maintain order," said Town Council member Toni Moran.
As another safety measure, Resident State Troopers have been conducting joint patrols with members of UConn Police.
"These joint patrols were very successful, and helped to improve safety within the community. They were possible thanks to the great cooperation of the UConn Police Department and Chief Barbara O'Connor," said Cournoyer.
Joint patrols will continue during the spring semester.
Both State Troopers and UConn Police are currently preparing for managing the newly-reinstated Spring Weekend this year. Due to high levels of violence and property damage, UConn's Spring Weekend has been cancelled for the past two years. According to Cournoyer, a moderate amount of on-campus activities will occur during next semester's Spring Weekend.
The university will approve or deny proposals for activities during this period on a case-by-case basis, rather than eliminating all activities during the weekend.
"I commend the Connecticut State Troopers and the UConn Police Department for their efforts on these security matters. With their continued assistance, we can start to get away from the destructive event that Spring Weekend has been in the past," said Mayor Elizabeth Paterson.
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