In response to local efforts to organize city wide parties for the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day holiday, the City of Kalamazoo has issued a local State of Emergency.
In a statement issued by Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety, the decision was made to alleviate stress from First Responders and Public Safety officials in light of Governor Whitmer placing a ban on gatherings of over 250 people earlier today. It is intended to curb gatherings often organized around this time that involve heavy drinking and partying.
KDPS has credible information that the parties that are being organized this year are greater in magnitude than those of the past due to universities in Michigan going on hiatus for the coronavirus and increased student availability. These parties include a 'state-wide' house crawl.
“KDPS has planned for this event, as in years’ past, but now we find ourselves in a unique time where a worldwide pandemic has been declared. The State of Michigan now has 12 confirmed cases of COVID-19,” read the statement.
The State of Emergency allows for the city to enact police zones, which will be set up in spots where the parties traditionally take place and will allow only residents of the establishments to enter upon presentation of identification.
KDPS is stressing that these measures are being taken with a heavy consideration of student health and wellbeing.
This is a developing story and new information will be posted as it is made available.
Chloe Miller contributed to this story.