Galveston Police Brace for More Spring Break

Galveston police are bracing for huge spring break crowds this weekend, and hoping there won't be a repeat of the trouble they had to deal with last weekend. Houston Public Radio's Jim Bell reports

The situation got a little out of control after a rap concert last Saturday on Galveston's east beach. Some fights broke out as the show was ending, and thousands of people were in their cars trying to leave at the same time. Galveston Police Chief Kenneth Mack says it caused a huge traffic jam and headaches for police, but it was not the "riot" some media outlets reported.

"It did not meet the definition of a riot. Certainly we had gridlocked traffic, terrible congestion, and a lot of rowdy partiers, but they were partying, not rioting."

Two people were arrested at the concert, and others were arrested off the beach in the gridlock for public intoxication and disorderly conduct. Chief Mack says all in all, his officers did a good job of crowd control and clearing the traffic. He doesn't think any more concerts are on the island schedule during spring break, but he'll have additional officers on duty anyway.

"We are staffing up, going to have our regular summertime seawall detail that normally begins this coming weekend anyway, so there's going to be additional officers on duty in addition to the regular patrolmen that will be out, and we will have some resources available to us on standby just in the event that we might need them."

Mack says he's not expecting any problems this weekend, even though it is still spring break for many colleges and school disitricts, and thousands of young people will be on the beaches.

Jim Bell, Houston Public Radio News.