Police on duty for 2010 RunThe Runnin O’ the Green has become one of the busiest days for bars in Jamestown. An estimated 3,000 people will make their way through downtown streets this afternoon, most with alcohol in their systems.
By: Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun
The Runnin O’ the Green has become one of the busiest days for bars in Jamestown. An estimated 3,000 people will make their way through downtown streets this afternoon, most with alcohol in their systems.
The economic impact of $500,000 is huge and also helps the city’s restaurants, hotels and retail stores. But along with benefit that comes a herd of inebriated runners, some of which will end up breaking the law.
Larry Knoblich, Runnin O’ the Green founder, stresses the event is not about binge drinking.
“My advice to anybody is to use it as a social event, a spring break or Mardi Gras, but not as a binge-drinking event,” Knoblich said.
The Jamestown Police Department is stepping up to make sure people stay safe during and after the run.
“We’re going to have additional officers and we’re going to be patrolling the downtown area pretty heavily,” said Chief Dave Donegan.
Normally three or four officers are on duty at any given time, Donegan said, but between eight and 11 officers will be on patrol during and after the run.
The most common infraction is unlawful possession of alcohol, which is an open container of alcohol outside of a designated area, and each year around 20 tickets are issued, Donegan said. The fine is $50.
“We see quite a bit of that, not necessarily during the run but later,” he said.
After the run, disorderly conduct and fights also pick up in Jamestown, Donegan said.
“When you have that many people you’re generally going to have some of that,” he said.
Runners are encouraged to keep the drinking within reasonable limits and stay out of the streets, Donegan said.
“One big concern is that nobody gets run over,” he said.
Last year there were no injuries from vehicles but a few related to assault after the run, Donegan said.
“Just everybody use good common sense and we’ll all get through it,” he said.
This is the 32nd annual Running O’ the Green, which raises money for Camp Grassick, a summer camp for physically and mentally challenged children and adults, and for area residents fighting illnesses like cancer. Last year’s run raised more than $15,000.
Sun reporter Ben Rodgers can be reached at 701-952-8455
or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org