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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Spike in alcohol-related incidents

Published: November 7, 2014
Section: News

According to the Brandeis University Police Department Media Log, this past weekend alone, BEMCo responded to a total of 10 incidents involving intoxicated students. There were 21 medical emergencies reported in the media log release on Nov. 2. Therefore, alcohol-related incidents comprised over 42 percent of the medical emergencies reported. Although not included in the media log as a medical emergency, an intoxicated male student was taken into police custody as well.

Responding to the high incidence rate of alcohol-related emergencies, Director of Public Safety Edward Callahan explained, “Halloween fell on a Friday this year, and I believe there were several parties on and off campus that may have attributed to the increase in alcohol-related transports.” He reported that it is not uncommon to witness a higher rate of issues particularly when Halloween falls on a Friday or Saturday evening.

On Saturday evening, BEMCo responded to an incident involving an intoxicated male student in the Charles River Area. Taken into police custody due to his refusal to cooperate with BEMCo staff, the individual in question was then transported to the Waltham Police Department. The Brandeis police media log reports, “Heavily intoxicated male refused to cooperate with BEMCo staff and was placed in protective custody by university police. Officers transported individual to Waltham Police Dept. CDC notified.”

When asked what circumstances warranted the arrest of the subject, Callahan responded, “The individual in question was belligerent and combative, which resulted in a protective custody situation.” He emphasized that the individual was placed in police custody to ensure his own safety.

Seven of the 10 alcohol-related medical emergencies required transportation via ambulance to the hospital. The media report reads, “Call for an intoxicated female. BEMCo dispatched to Castle along with University Police. BEMCo units treat party. Catlado Ambulance ALS # 21 transporting to Newton Wellesley Hospital. CDC notified.”

Students are urged to call BEMCo at (781) 736-333 in the case of an alcohol-related or medical-related emergency. In a previous interview with The Brandeis Hoot, Jeffrey Katz ’15, director of BEMCo, emphasized, “BEMCo has worked with the Department of Public Safety to assure that students who call BEMCo for their medical attention or that of a fellow member of the Brandeis community will not get into trouble. There are BUPD officers on almost every BEMCo call, but they are there for the safety of the BEMCo members and the patient(s); not to discipline students.”

When students call BEMCo for alcohol- or other medical-related incidents, a Brandeis police officer is required to arrive at the scene as well. “The police respond to all medical calls on campus for a myriad of reasons, including safety, coordination with city EMS/fire personnel and crowd control. The police are ultimately responsible for the safety of the injured/impaired community member,” said Callahan.