In the aftermath of a massive and unruly off-campus bash, known as the Blarney Blowout, that led to 55 arrests and cast a harsh light on the state’s flagship university, UMass Amherst has retained the services of former Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis to conduct a comprehensive review of the university and the town’s handling of the situation and other large, crowd-related disturbances. The move by Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy comes after extensive consultation with UMass President Robert Caret and Board of Trustees Chair Henry Thomas.
“Commissioner Davis is an outstanding choice for this assignment,” Subbaswamy says. “He is regarded as one of the country’s top law enforcement experts and he will draw upon his longtime success in community policing to help us prevent a recurrence of last week’s disturbing events. This initiative has the support of our community partners in Amherst town government, a cooperative approach vital to solving this difficult problem.”
The review will encompass campus and community preparation leading up to the event as well as the conduct of first responders, university officials and town leaders during and immediately following the disturbance. The aim of the review will be to develop strategies and tactics to avert the sort of upheaval that occurred over the past weekend.