Clam Jam faces wave of police enforcement Saturday
Fairfield University students aren't the only ones making plans for this weekend's Clam Jam beachside party -- so are police.
The beach bash, planned Saturday at Lantern Point, has been a traditional way for university seniors to celebrate before graduation and also traditionally has been a source of anger for year-round residents of the shoreline neighborhood.
Prior to the imposition of a court injunction in 2001 to control festivities, the Clam Jam drew college students from all over, with upwards of 5,000 raucous partyers on the beach and in the street several years.
The 2001 injunction, secured by the Fairfield Beach Residents Association, limits the event to decks at Lantern Point to no more than 250 people. However, the injunction is a civil matter and cannot be enforced by police.
"The goal of law enforcement that day is to maintain order, enforce violations of the law, and minimize any impact this event may have on the neighborhood," police Capt. Josh Zabin said.
According to Zabin, the Lantern Point Association has hired five police officers for private-duty assignments that day, as well as one of the security firms used at the Gathering of the Vibes concert in Bridgeport. There will be additional police officers, augmented by officers from area towns, on duty in the beach area outside Lantern Point, and two DUI checkpoints will be set up in the area as well -- one on Reef Road near Veterans Park and the second on Fairfield Beach Road near Rowland Road. All cars traveling through the checkpoints will be stopped.
Special "no-parking zones" in the beach area will be posted, and enforced, beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday.
"We will be towing vehicles," Zabin said of parking violators, adding that there will be "zero tolerance" for any other violations of the law in areas outside Lantern Point. "Everyone will be held fully accountable," he said.
Anyone attending Clam Jam must have a wristband, issued by the Lantern Point Association, to gain entrance.
Representatives from Fairfield University also are expected to be at Lantern Point, and Zabin said the college has assured police that alternative activities have been scheduled on campus in an attempt to keep many potential partyers there.
Alternative on-campus activities include a tailgate party at the Levee, a clambake, a lacrosse game between Fairfield and Ohio State, a screening of "American Hustle" and "crazy" bingo.