Pa. examines Indiana County officials' handling of out-of-control St. Patrick's Day parties
It will take at least a few months for the state to examine the response of Indiana officials to wild St. Patrick's Day parties in the borough earlier this month that resulted in criminal charges and numerous citations.
Ruth Miller, spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, said letters were sent to stakeholders on Friday seeking their perspectives on the March 8 student-planned “IUPatty's” revelry that taxed emergency systems.
“It will take some time,” Miller said.
Indiana County Commissioner Rodney Ruddock and Indiana University of Pennsylvania President Michael Driscoll asked the state agency to assist in evaluating the actions before, during and after the events on borough streets and on campus.
Agencies involved in the response, including business leaders and law enforcement, are asked in the letters from PEMA to share their perspectives about what worked and what didn't, Miller said.
“(Reviews) are something we routinely do at the state level following significant incidents,” agency Director Glenn Cannon said.
Officials in the agency's Western Area office will meet with campus and borough officials for a review that will help responders be “better equipped to prepare for and handle a situation like this in the future,” Cannon said.
When hundreds of college-age people, including IUP students and others, took to the streets on March 8, state, borough and university police responded to dozens of incidents, including a large brawl that was videotaped and uploaded to YouTube. One borough officer sustained a broken hand during the weekend.
A group of about 400 on South Seventh Street antagonized police who were trying to disperse the crowd, forcing officers to use pepper spray on some revelers.
Borough police used social media to identify and arrest four men and one juvenile in connection with the videotaped fist-fight on South Seventh Street. Three of those facing felony riot charges are IUP students. The two others are from Aliquippa.
Officials have said many of those who caused problems were not IUP students. Those students who were charged by police face the IUP disciplinary process, according to university officials.
In anticipation of the weekend partying, IUP officials had advised students to behave responsibly. About 350 students helped to clean up the town the next morning.
“I'm thankful for PEMA's willingness to help the entire community work together to collaboratively identify ways to better prepare and address this sort of activity,” Driscoll said in the release.
The results will be shared with stakeholders after its completion.
Ruddock said in the release that revisiting the response plan will enable officials to better protect county residents.
Renatta Signorini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-837-5374 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- United board looks to replace departing French teacher
- County approves contract for West Wheatfield water extension