The End of Mount Pleasant Violence: A Post Welcome-Week Plan

Central Michigan University has been known for its small town safety, and its lack of serious crimes. Unfortunately, this year has unveiled an unusually violent start for Mount Pleasant citizens.
Central Michigan saw its first wave of violence during the summer months with a shooting at The Cabin– a local establishment frequented by students. This tragedy was written off as an exceptional event, surely not to represent the daily life of such a positive community.
However, this year’s welcome-week celebrations hosted some of the most serious offenses in the community’s history. Accompanying two assaults on city officers were– two accounts of robbery, three sexual assaults, and the displaying of a handgun on campus—not to mention the list of less serious crimes.  Although welcome-week was nearly a month ago, CMU’s Police have been striving to create a safer campus and community.
CMU Police Chief, William Yeagley, was working the streets with his fellow lawmen during the weekend. He attributes the violence to a series of matters unique to the 2010 school year.
“No other major colleges around the state started the same time we did”, Chief Yeagley said. “Also, about 30% of the people I had contact with said that they were just up for the weekend visiting.”
Residence Life saw an overflow of over-night visitors—many from East Lansing. It is accurate to say that when the crowds grow, the incidents are sure to grow as well.
Clearly the late start influenced visitors to stay the weekend. Idle hands are known to start mischief—especially when in a new environment.
After the whirlwind of misbehavior, Mayor Holton, City Manager Grinzinger, City Police Chief Gomez, Provost David Burdette, and Chief Yeagley collectively devised a plan to deal with serious crime.
Following a letter to the students—sent by email—the city reconnected its line of communication between the city, the prosecutor’s office, and the University. This enables the CMU Police to start a separate investigation after Mount Pleasant officials inform them of an off-campus offence.
Chief Yeagley says that this practice has been implemented in the past, but communication between offices has been “hit or miss.”
Students can now expect to see squads of police ready for action during weekend fun. Rather than split the city by jurisdiction—as conventionally handled—the police forces of Mount Pleasant have assembled Isabella County Sheriffs Department, CMU Police, and Mount Pleasant Police into mobile task forces.
To accompany the police’s actions, the authorities have expected students to play a role in preventing crime. The residence halls’ directors have been spoken to, as well as a remarkably cooperative Greek community.
“Flexibility used in the past has not being exercised,” Chief Yeagley said about the department’s attitude.
The call for tighter security will surely help to promise students their safety—on and off of campus. Tighter communication will also be a great advantage to all working departments involved.
These questions have been pouring through the minds of many Central Michigan students—but the answer is clear. The responsibility lies with the residents of Mount Pleasant.
If something is happening around you that you wouldn’t want to see on the cover of The Morning Sun, then you’re in the wrong place.
Chief Yeagley gives simple, yet valuable, advice. “Take care of yourself, and take care of others.”