Amherst Select Board, Police meet to talk about Blarney Blowout - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

Amherst Select Board, Police meet to talk about Blarney Blowout response

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AMHERST, MA (WSHM) -

Monday night was the beginning of many discussions on the Blarney Blowout at an Amherst Select Board meeting.

Police Chief Scott Livingstone and his officers packed into Amherst Town Hall on Monday. 

Livingstone says the discussion is productive, but it's time for resolutions.

Large crowds are not just forming at the Blarney Blowout, but several times a year in town.

"I've been a police officer in Amherst for the last 30 years. We've been dealing with these large scale disturbances for the last 15 to 20 years. Discussion is great, but we need to get to some kind of resolution," Livingstone said. 

A major part of the problem, Livingstone says, are manpower issues in town.

"Manpower issues aren't going to solve the issues when we are dealing with six to 7,000 people. But we are becoming an agency that's busy year round now, so it's an area that needs to be addressed," Livingstone said. 

Select board Chair Stephanie O'Keeffe applauded the police department's efforts and hard work during the Blarney Blowout earlier this month. More than 4,000 people attended, with dozens arrested. She said police did an "extraordinary" job.

Livingstone said the answer to a safer and tamer Blarney Blowout in the future may not be more manpower, but it's a start.

"The number of events we have to respond to are increasing. This is no longer once a year, now it's becoming four, five, six times a year when we have to respond to this large disturbances," he said. 

The Select Board said the town and the university are looking for better outcomes going forward and more conversations will be had in the future.

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