• Patrols to target loud, wild parties in Bellingham


    BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Authorities from three agencies are joining to increase party patrol efforts in the residential areas of Bellingham.

     A large party at an apartment complex turned into a riot last weekend.  See photos from the scene.

     Bellingham and Western Washington University police will provide extra staffing in what authorities said was previously planned effort.

     Bellingham officers will use what they call their “party bus” to respond to problem parties and process any citations issued.

      If needed, the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office will provide their mobile booking vehicle, along with corrections officers to help with processing those who may be arrested.

      “Parties that get out of control are not only a noise or nuisance concern, they are a public safety issue. And we will not tolerate any outbreaks of violence,” said Chief Clifford Cook of the Bellingham Police Department.

     The increased patrols will last for several weeks.

    Police said they are not trying to ban parties, but will respond to complaints.

    If there is a loud or disorderly party in your neighborhood, police can be reached at 360- 676-6911.

     Police offered the following tips for those planning a party:

    •       Keep your party a reasonable size. Social media can lead to many more people showing up than you want.

    •       Touch bases with your neighbors; let them know you are planning a party and listen to their concerns, such as noise, parking and litter.

    •       Keep the party indoors. When the party moves outdoors things can get loud.

    •       If you generate noise that unreasonably disturbs or interferes with the peace, comfort, and repose of your neighbors, the police can issue a public disturbance noise citation.

    •       Even if you didn’t intentionally invite anyone underage, you might end up with underage people at your party. If the Party Patrol busts your party and find that alcohol is being served or consumed, then those under 21 will be cited for a minor in possession (commonly known as an MIP). You as the host also could receive a citation for furnishing alcohol to minors. In addition, hosts may have liabilities for neighborhood damages caused by their party guests.

    •       If you believe your party is getting too loud or large call the police department to assist you in clearing it out.

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