More Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers on uptown streets during First Night celebrations Monday and early Tuesday apparently had its intended result: Police arrested only 20 people, down from last year and the year before.
Police made the arrests between 6 p.m. Monday and 3 a.m. Tuesday. More than half of the arrests involved people being drunk and disruptive or disorderly.
Last year, police arrested 31 people; they arrested 50 on New Year’s Eve 2010.
Officers assigned to CMPD’s Central Division were deployed to uptown streets with members of the Civil Emergency Unit and other specialized units, police said. All other patrol divisions were fully staffed to respond to calls.
They weren’t needed. Police reported no significant incidents uptown – or in the 12 patrol divisions during First Night events.
Police have begun bolstering their New Year’s Eve presence after trouble at other large events uptown. Violence broke out among large crowds after a Fourth of July fireworks show in 2006. The following year on July Fourth, police arrested 169 people. And during Memorial Day weekend last May, police arrested 70 people after several hours of trouble that ended with one man fatally shot and another wounded.
“The goal of (CMPD) during the New Year’s celebration was to ensure that people had a safe environment in which to celebrate the holiday, whether they were in the center city or neighborhoods,” CMPD spokesman Rob Tufano said in a statement. “Our operations plan for New Year’s Eve was successfully implemented.”
Police got an assistance from Mecklenburg sheriff’s deputies, the Charlotte Fire Department and Medic.
Nine of the 20 arrested were drunk and disruptive; two were charged with disorderly conduct, and five were charged with trespassing. Of six juveniles arrested, four had violated curfew; two were charged with trespassing, Tufano said.
Last year, police arrested 16 juveniles.
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