Police Departments See Increased Calls over Coachella Weekend

Police Departments See Increased Calls over Coachella Weekend

Patrick Price

It was a busy Coachella Festival weekend one, not just in Indio but across the Coachella Valley. Palm Springs Police say this past weekend, calls into dispatch increased.

“Whether it’s traffic related or whether it’s crime related,” said Sgt. William Hutchinson with Palm Springs Police.

He plans for festival season just like any other police department.

“We always increase our staffing levels. That might mean we increase our DUI cars, sometimes we have officers assigned to just disturbance calls, they’ll team up in two officer cars,” said Hutchinson.

On some weekends, he says they add several more officers to the mix. On other weekends, dozens of officers are put on duty. Although Coachella isn’t in Palm Springs, events that branch off from the festival make their way west.

“There’s more people, more events and more activity is going to take place,” he said.

Over the weekend, call logs for the department were pages long, hundreds of calls and busier than a increase from a normal weekend. More than thirty of those calls, some type of disturbance but many related to loud music.

“We generally try to give people warnings, people are having a good time, we want them to have a good time but we want them to respect their neighbors,” he said.

When it comes to the festival itself, no full-time palm springs officers are taken away from patrols to help with festival security. Those who are down in Indio, are off-duty contracted officers that are paid by the festival promoters leaving a full staff to patrol and protect the neighborhoods of Palm Springs.

As weekend two of Coachella quickly approaches, police say they’ll keep the same staffing across all departments.