Police ready disturbance signs
In response to increased noise complaints from Brunswick residents, police are stepping up their efforts to curb public drinking and late-night student rowdiness. In about two weeks there will be signs around the Longfellow Avenue neighborhood warning students against public drinking. If caught drinking within 200 feet of the sign, students face a maximum penalty of six months in jail or $1,000 in fines.
According to Brunswick Police Lieutenant Marc Hagen, the "general areas of the signs" have been determined, but the specific locations will be decided sometime in the next two weeks. "I have to go take a look and find the places in the next few weeks," Hagen said. Where the signs will ultimately go will reflect where the police have received the most complaints from residents.
The estimated locations for the signs include the intersection of Longfellow and Harpswell Street, South Street, and Garrison Street, and one at the end of Coffin Street.
While the signs directly address public drinking, Hagen acknowledged, "It is not as much the actual drinking, but the rowdiness." However, he also acknowledged that this rowdiness comes mainly from inebriated students.
Hagen said that residents complain that "they wake up in the morning and there are empty beer bottles and cups in their yard. These neighbors are just innocent bystanders."
"If these signs alone are enough to stop people from walking with open containers, then we will not have to step up enforcement," Hagen said. "We're hoping that the signs themselves will be enough of a warning. To be honest, I'd hoped that it wouldn't have come to this."
Dean of Student Affairs Craig Bradley said that Brunswick neighbors "have sought to increase the pressure on the police department. My concern about this is that the expectations of the neighbors-even with the signs up-are still going to be too high. I don't think that the Brunswick Police have the resources to monitor student drinking to such an extent."
Bradley explained that the bulk of these noise complaints have "really come from two or three neighbors."
One neighbor, Michael Longley, said that he has been "awakened numerous times on any given Saturday or Friday" by rowdy students. Longley has put much effort in talking to students, administration, and police to solve the problem.
"I want to be a good neighbor," he said, "and I am hoping that virtually everyone over there [at Bowdoin] wants to be a good neighbor too."
He added, "My neighbors and I respect you all."