Athens Gearing Up For Annual Halloween Block Party

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Athens Police Chief Tom Pyle compared the Halloween Block Party to a NASCAR race. 

"There is always a bit of excitment, and then afterwards you are able to go home and you're glad its over with," Pyle said about his night on duty.  With the thousands expected to come to Athens, the event is not unlike that of a sporting event.  Already, more than 2,300 guests have registered to visit Ohio University dorms.  Due to the fees of staying with students on campus, the Dean of Students Office says the University anticipates over $66,000 in revenue. 

Although the event brings money to Ohio University and local businesses, both police and school officials are aware of the danger that comes with large crowds and drinking.  Dean of Students Jenny Hall-Jones sent an email on Tuesday urging students to be "civil and smart."

First and formost the Dean of Students suggests everyone have a plan. 

"Make sure you have a communication plan if guests become lost and cell phone service is not dependable," Hall-Jones said. 

Chief Pyle agreed by saying Block Party attendees should know the address of their friends dorm or apartment.  "I've seen some students even write their friend's addresses on their arms with eyeliner, so that could help," Pyle said.

Chief Pyle said the police force will keep an eye out for indivudials taking their antics too far, especially when they start acting violently.  "With events like Halloween we look for people that stand out when it comes to violence.  Anything that would attract attention from the group is what law enforcement is looking for." 

Chief Pyle went on to encourage students to carry their ID and wear a costume with pockets. 

"If you go into a bar and you put down your wallet or your phone to pick up a beer, those things get taken all the time, so a pocket could help that from happening." 

In a Halloween press conference on Wednesday, Deputy Service-Safety Director Ron Lucas explained a kiosk that will be on Court Street to guide Block Party attendees.  "You can get directions to hotels, dorms, tow companies," Lucas said.  "They will be in the thick of the party to help." 

In her email, Jenny Hall-Jones also mentioned, "It is a good idea to have the numbers of the Police Departments programmed into your cell phone in case of a situation where you may need help or advice, but it is not necessary to call 911.  Ohio University Police Department Dispatch is 740-593-1911 and the Athens City Police Dispatch is 740-593-6606."