Police services will be the topic de jour Tuesday as University of Connecticut Police Chief Barbara O’Connor and Mansfield Resident State Trooper Sgt. Richard Cournoyer host a forum from 5-7 p.m. at the UConn Student Union Theatre.
Last month - much to the chagrin of students - Carriage House Apartments rolled out a new guest policy at its complex to limit crowds and cut down on poor behavior.
The new policy - allowing four guests per resident at any given time - was not met with a warm reception from residents who continue to speak out against the limit and routine police surveillance.
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“I’m sick of the cops,” UConn Junior and resident Chris Dombakly said Monday. “I think if you’re a UConn student and you have UConn student ID they should at least treat you with some level of respect,” he said.
Dombakly went on to say that he believed it was non-students who tended to create the problems on campus and found the constant police presence on weekends "unnecessary."
“I think that the people in this town and the cops right now are too strict," Dombakly said. "I think maybe back two years ago or three years ago they were too lenient in letting kids party,” he said, adding, “I think there’s some balance in between there, but I don’t know what that is.”
UConn Senior Aaron Rocheleau shared many of the same concerns, and said he was looking forward to having officials address them on Tuesday.
“They [officials] haven’t been that open with communication,” he said, “so I’d like to see if they’re going to do anything about it."
Rocheleau, a resident of Carriage House, said the complex has been on "complete lock down," since early in the semester.
“It seems a little bit ridiculous,” he said.
Rocheleau, who works in West Hartford, said he sometimes forgets his Carriage House ID while running to his job or trying to make a class, and often has trouble gaining entry to his own apartment once he returns.
Per the new policy, residents are now required to show their resident ID at the front entrance of the complex. Rocheleau said he's been denied entry when unable to produce his ID.
"I have to go to my friend's house until I hear that they've [police] left so I can come all the way back home to my apartment," he said. "By that time, it's 1 or 2 o'clock in the morning," he said, adding, “I understand why they’re [officials] doing everything, it’s just they’re taking it to a whole other level and it just seems unnecessary to me."
Carriage House resident Paul Bacher, said that while he finds the constant police presence "annoying," he understands the need for it.
"I guess it’s necessary considering some of the things that’ve happened in the past,” Bacher, a senior, said. “I’m not a huge Carriage party kind of guy, so it doesn’t really bother me, but I can definitely see why some of the other kids are [bothered],” he said.
O’Connor and Cournoyer did not immediately return calls for comment Monday afternoon.