The City of Ames and Iowa State University are hosting a national summit on preventing riots and other civil disturbances. Charles Cychosz of the Ames Police Department is one of the coordinators of the two-day conference that begins today (Thursday).
Cychosz says the conference came out of discussions on what to do following the most recent disturbances on the I-S-U campus during Vieshea. He says it’s clear that this type of thing has been going on in other communities across the country and they wanted to bring people in and talk about the “best practices” to prevent and manage the problems.
Cychosz says they’re open to any ideas that can help.
He says, “Certainly we have a selfish interest, we don’t want these things to happen in Ames.” He says they hope to learn some lessons to avoid future disturbances. He says they’ll hear from people who’ve dealt with situations similar to theirs and those who face larger challenges.
He says they’ll have people from Ohio State and the closing speaker will be from the Park Police, which he says have dealt with events involving twice the number of people in Ames.
Cychosz says they’re trying to get everyone in the community involved in the conference. He says they’re excited about the number of students attending,and have lots of university officials, and what he calls a good cross-section of the community.
The debate in Ames has centered around whether the student celebration that’s led to the riots should be dry. He says alcohol will figure in the discussion as the conference as well. He says they have experts coming in with lots of experience in managing alcohol and will have an entire breakout group that’ll talk about the alcohol issue.
The event is called the “National Summit on Preventing Civil Disturbances” and runs today and tomorrow on the I-S-U campus.