Police ready to roll ahead of summer concerts in Hartford - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Police ready to roll ahead of summer concerts in Hartford

Posted: Updated:
(WFSB photo) (WFSB photo)
(WFSB photo) (WFSB photo)

The summer concert series at the XFINITY Theatre in Hartford is set to kick off in about a week.

With big bands coming through the capital city, police said they're getting ready to deal with drinking concert goers.

Police said they've been working hard with community groups at the theater to cut down on excessive drinking in recent years. They said those measures have been working.

They'll be meeting with those groups on Thursday afternoon to prepare for the upcoming season. They also said they'll be talking about parental responsibility as well.

Police said one of the biggest problems they face during the summer concert series is children left on their own. When parents drop their teens off to attend a concert at the theater, many times it's those kids who end up drinking too much.

Emergency room doctors said they see teens drinking huge amounts of liquor in a short amount of time, some as young as 14 and 15 years old.

For many Connecticut teens, the Dave Matthews Band concert at the XFINITY Theatre is a summer tradition.

"When we were in high school, you know that's where you can go to drink underage," said Amelia Barrezueta, who said she has been going since she was a teenager and has noticed the efforts to combat it. "They did have the fire department's Polaris patrolling through, making sure everyone was behaving as best as they could, but there definitely is a lot of underage drinking in those instances."

In recent years, police said they have made more than 100 arrests in one night.

"They're comatose, they're unconscious, they can't communicate what's actually wrong with them," said Hartford Police Chief James Rovella. "There is a lot of dynamics that go around with the country acts...folks come in with the garb and they're from out of town. 95 percent of the folks we arrest are not Hartford residents."

Police said an increased focus in recent years has helped cut down on the problem. However, they need a partnership from parents.

They plan to discuss that partnership during Thursday's upcoming meeting with groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

Those who do get arrested can expect at least a week of the summer to be ruined, with court appearances and community service.

The concert series kicks off with the Zac Brown Band next Thursday.

Copyright 2016 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.