Crowds on North Pleasant Street (note white pepper ball shot residue in road)
Besides the untold damage to the reputation of UMass Amherst, the flagship of higher education in Massachusetts, the Blarney Blowout also had real implications for hard pressed taxpayers who fund both town first responder services and UMass Amherst.
The recently announced "comprehensive review" contract awarded to former Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis has a budget "up to $160,000," so we kind of know what that final bill will be.
I asked a grumpy UMass source how that much money could be so quickly consigned without a somewhat time consuming bid proposal and she replied, "By policy the University can sole source a contract."
Okay, fair enough, but that looks like it's limited to between $5,000 and $25,000 which $160,000 would seem to top that by a bit.
But at least the University did not ask the town to contribute half, as they did recently with a "town/gown consultant" to help map a strategy of mutual growth over the foreseeable future. That contract has a top end limit of $60,000 with each entity paying half and was bid out in the normal somewhat time consuming Request For Proposals manner.
Chief Livingstone (white cap) assists officer with arrest
APD "one under, liquor law violation." #BlarneyBlowout pic.twitter.com/Z9uCTHD02X
— Larry Kelley (@amherstac) March 8, 2014
APD Chief Scott Livingstone had to muster all hands on deck to deal with crowd control starting well before noon, with the first arrest clocking in at 10:18 a.m . At an over time cost to his department of $12,500 plus another $1,300 for indispensable Dispatch.
Plus the $160,000 "review" will tie up more of his time and that of his top brass.
And since the finished report -- which will not result in any formal charges of police brutality -- isn't due until graduation time, the Amherst Police Department will be operating these next few months under a dark cloud.
And that's bad for all of us.