Three concert seasons later, it
is apparent that one entity,
should be totally responsible
and accountable for the
design and implementation
of all safety, security
and decency at the Tweeter
Meeting Chief of Police, Arthur
O'Neill... June 2001
A Good Meeting... A Good Chief
Soon after the concert, I began my
report. I also made trips back during the days and evenings to better understand the parking lots, grab some
of the pictures that populate this report, and otherwise absorb the idea of a major venue's parking lot having one main
entrance / exit.
I really only had a very rough draft
of this report when I ask to meet with Chief of Police, Arthur O'Neill. We met within an hour of my call.
As this report is not - and
never was - intended to be a witch hunt, I wanted to inform the Chief of my concerns and report, which at the
time was not in a website.
I wanted to gain an
understanding Chief O'Neill's efforts and gain an insight into detail staffing, control... and
honestly the carding of minors while allowing drinking in a parking lot that clearly states that it is illegal. Frankly, I don't care about the drinking by people of legal age.
I think that responsible drinking is part of the fun and experience. But, I am concerned for the waiver that it establishes,
with respect to liability. And obviously, I also wanted to know about the Sani-Kan (port-a-toilets)... and how the number of "Kan" are determined.
I -- and I'll bet
that most other people -- understand the difficulty of the Chief's and his force's position. The old
joke question about how one treats a 500 pound canary holds the same answer for a large crowd of drinking hard rockers.
You control them gently through containment and only apply the arm when it's absolutely necessary. This
method still works when everything goes well. But it is fraught with liability when it doesn't. Anyway, one senses
this careful but casual approach through the detail police in the parking lot who are in shorts & golf shirts,
on bicycles... and oh yes, still "packing 9mm heat." Arrests are made! I can attest,
Back to the meeting: We met
for about an hour. And we had a good conversation about the above. We also discussed other topics. We
parted by his mentioning that he was going to discuss the matter with The Center... and I give him a copy of my
draft. I believed that he would discuss my issues. And with at least one matter -- the overgrowth between the
access road and limo parking where guys were urinating -- I believe that he did. The area was totally cut
to the ground within a week or two.
However, that was it.
There were no additional Sani-Kans placed, and there was no additional care given to them.
Of course, this is not
the Chief's jurisdiction; it is the Town Selectperson's and the Town Board of Health's responsibility, who
no doubt are following meager regulations defined by some "code." ( One can look north to Foxboro where the
Patriots' new, quarter-billon-dollar stadium is being built to include port-a-toilets on its "improved" parking
lots. How can can such a public health fiascos exist? )
To wrap: When I left, I was
pleased that we met; knew more; felt that I was heard, but honestly knew that The Tweeter Center and its sponsors
would hardly roll over with out either (1) an incident (2) being muscled into stricter regulations, or (3) being
embarrased by this or a similar report.
My decision to publish
this report on the Internet works to #3 above.