Office of Student Affairs and Campus Life

Acceptable Fan Behavior

The Dispersal Order

Community Policing & Law Enforcement

Code of Student Conduct

Amherst Town By-Laws/Massachusetts General Laws

The “Dispersal Order” and
Why You Need to Know About It

When students celebrate in way that does not incite the crowd, intervention is not required.

When some students begin engaging in unlawful activity, and incite a crowd, intervention is required. This inciting action includes climbing trees, lamp poles, signs, or any other structure or person to gain height advantage; setting fires; males and females exposing themselves to the crowd; destruction of property, throwing any objects that could cause injury; and intentionally disobeying police announcements.

When these inciting actions begin, law enforcement will give a very clear dispersal order, instructing students to return to their residence halls. Students are then given time to return to their residence halls. Students should follow the directions given by the police officer over the loudspeaker and immediately leave the area. If approached by a police officer, comply with any directions. The majority of crowds tend to gravitate towards the middle of an open area. Work your way from the middle of the area towards a side area to leave.

 

The police will then begin walking towards the crowd reinforcing the order to disperse. Those remaining at this point will be subject to arrest. Please be aware that throwing objects at the police will be considered among other things, inciting a riot, and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. These actions are considered by both the University and the courts to be very serious charges, and may result in expulsion and incarceration in state prison.

In short, once a dispersal order is given in response to unlawful actions, there is no such thing as “just standing around and watching.”

The Dispersal Order

In accordance with Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 269, Section 1, when a gathering or assembly is determined to be unlawful, the following order will be given by a police officer:

First Order

I am ___________________ of the University of Massachusetts Police Department. All persons here are in violation of Chapter 269, Section 1 of the Massachusetts General Laws, which prohibits unlawful assembly. In the name of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, you are hereby ordered to immediately and peacefully disperse. If you do not immediately and peaceably disperse, you will be subject to arrest and detention. If you fail to submit to arrest, reasonable and necessary force will be used.

Second Order

In the name of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, you are hereby ordered to immediately and peacefully disperse. If you do not immediately and peaceably disperse, you will be subject to arrest and detention. If you fail to submit to arrest, reasonable and necessary force will be used including chemical agents.

Students should follow the directions given by the police officer over the loudspeaker and immediately leave the area. If approached by a police officer, comply with any directions as much as possible. The majority of crowds tend to gravitate towards the middle of open are. Work your way from the middle of the area towards a side area to leave.

Filing a Complaint

If you wish to file a complaint regarding what you feel is an impropriety by the UMPD, a citizen complaint form may be requested from the UMPD.

Top of Page