In an effort to fight coronavirus, The City of Kalamazoo will be creating a “police zone” to prevent what was expected to be a large scale gathering of St. Patrick’s Day revelers.

As part of the city’s declaration of a local State of Emergency Friday, they said the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety will need to control large crowds predicted to show up near Western Michigan University’s campus; the KDPS says over the past few years, it’s become a tradition for local college students to gather before St. Patrick’s Day. This year they say they have “credible information” that because universities across the state are closed, the event is going to be much larger, with a ‘state-wide’ house crawl party with thousands of attendees.

As a result, the KDPS will declare a police zone in the off-campus areas where these parties have occurred in the past, which will allow only verified residents of the zone to enter; the police zone will include street closures and I.D. checks, as well as “strict enforcement” of party-involved activities.

Where exactly the police zone would be was not disclosed; the party was expected to be held starting Saturday.

The City of Kalamazoo says these measures are necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19, not just in our area but statewide.