In light of what Yale administrators say is a recent trend linking underage parties held at Image Nightclub to crimes on and around campus, the Yale Police Department and New Haven Police Department increased patrols in the area during another underage party held Friday night.
Deputy Secretary Martha Highsmith said the YPD made no arrests following the party on Friday, but she said the University was concerned about the possibility of robberies following the event, as several crimes occurred after the last party, held on Oct. 9 at Image for New Haven teenagers.
Although Image Nightclub owner Dennis Dean told the News on Oct. 11 that the underage parties held at his club have never sparked any security concerns, YPD Lt. Michael Patten said he has noticed a correlation between the parties and the number of crimes later on the same night.
“The last two times they’ve had these all ages parties, hundreds of kids come spilling out of the club at midnight and are on the streets of New Haven,” he said.
On the night of the Oct. 9 underage party, a Yale graduate student was robbed at the intersection of Wall and Temple Streets. Shots were also fired around midnight that evening near the intersection of Chapel and Park Streets.
In preparation for the event at Image, both the YPD and the NHPD said they increased the number of officers patrolling around Image to prevent robberies and other crimes.
YPD policy does not allow the number of officers slated to patrol a given area to be released, Patten said. But Highsmith said the number of security personnel was heavily “ramped up” on the night of the party.
“[We had] a combination of police officers in cars and walking patrols,” she said.
NHPD spokeswoman Bonnie Winchester said that around 10 p.m., many NHPD officers were also monitoring the area outside the nightclub.
In addition to the usual six NHPD officers who monitor the area around Image and other local bars on weekend nights, Winchester said the NHPD sent four motorcycle officers, two officers on horses and six crime suppression officers.
She also said Image hired four uniformed extra duty officers who began work at 7 p.m. Image Nightclub was unable to be reached for comment.
Since the beginning of the school year, Image has hosted two parties for underage New Haven teenagers. Dean said his club has held 37 similar parties for 13 to 18-year-olds over the last year and a half, and does not serve alcohol at these events.