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Students, Police Ready for Annual Brent Road Party

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RALEIGH — There is a new set of rules this year for the annual Brent Road party nearN.C. State University. Police have more power to shut down unruly parties and arrest rowdy partygoers.

Raleigh police put up no parking signs in a half-mile radius around Brent Road on Friday, and the SWAT team dropped in on some residents, unannounced. The aim is to deter people from attending the off-campus event held by N.C. State students, but not sponsored by the school.

Some residents are dreading the upcoming party. Tony Watson is still smarting from his experience trying to get down his street last year.

"They (The police department) blocked it off, and they were like, 'You can't drive through here,'" he says. "It took a half-hour to convince them to let me come home."

Besides sending a letter to all students, the school is selling tickets to an alternative, alcohol-free event featuring bands, movies and free foods.

Last year, the Brent Road party attracted nearly 7,000 people, many of them from outside Raleigh.

More than 500 officers will be patrolling the Brent Road party. Over the years, the increased police presence at the party has led to more charges, most of which are alcohol-related.

In 1992, the first year of the annual party, only five people were charged. By 1994, more than 100 citations were handed out to partygoers.

By 1997, the charges doubled to 227. Last year, 366 people were ticketed. It is important to note that the majority of the people charged did not go to N.C. State.

The stepped-up police presence is expected to cost taxpayers more than $100,000.



John Conway, Web Editor

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