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UMass remains ‘committed partner’ in countering rowdy behavior

To the editor:

Contrary to recent news reports (“Fire, police calls up in Amherst,” Sept. 27) suggesting that UMass Amherst is not doing its part to assist the town of Amherst as it grapples with the unacceptable off-campus behavior of some UMass students, the university has been, and will continue to be, a committed partner with the community as we address this difficult issue.

It is important to keep in mind that, as part of our longstanding mutual aid agreement with the town, the UMass Police Department stands ready to assist the Amherst Police Department anytime help is requested in off-campus areas. UMass also pays the town for fire and ambulance service based on call volume through an agreement with the town.

Additionally, the Mullins Center pays the Amherst Fire Department for ambulance coverage at agreed upon shows.

In spite of these payments, however, the town clearly faces challenges in meeting the public safety needs of residents while also serving our students.

That’s why, in addition to holding the students who misbehave accountable, the university will continue to work closely with our partners in the community to explore new ways to solve these complex problems.

John Kennedy

Amherst

John Kennedy is vice chancellor for university relations at the University of Massachusetts.

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