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Posted on: August 24, 2023

ELPD Welcomes Students Back to Town, Offers Reminders About Important Ordinances, Personal Safety


EAST LANSING, Mich. — The East Lansing Police Department (ELPD) wants to ensure that all community members, including new and returning students at Michigan State University (MSU) and visitors to campus, are aware of important public safety information this fall.

Community members can expect to see ELPD as well as other law enforcement agencies patrolling the downtown area during busy time periods in the City, particularly weekends with home football games at MSU. Officers will be available to engage with people in a variety of ways, including on foot, on bike and in patrol cars. 

“We want everyone to have fun and enjoy our vibrant downtown,” said ELPD Chief Kim Johnson. “But we expect that community members will know the rules so they can celebrate responsibly. Share this information with your friends from out of town. Watch out for yourself and each other. As always, if you see something, say something. Don’t hesitate to report something suspicious or to call 9-1-1 in an emergency.”

In addition to providing a reassuring presence for community members, officers from ELPD and their partners will be enforcing violations of City ordinances. It is important for community members and visitors to be aware of the following:

  • Open alcohol containers and marihuana smoking are NOT allowed in any public spaces throughout the City or in the downtown area.
  • Minors under the age of 21 are not allowed to consume or possess alcohol or marihuana.
  • Anyone who is in medical distress, or a person accompanying them, can seek medical help without risk of penalty under medical amnesty, including those who are under age 21.
  • Noise violations may incur significant additional penalties if they occur at a party with amplified sound, that charges for entry and/or has a common source of alcohol such as a keg.

Other safety measures in the downtown area include enhanced lighting and video technology. Additionally, several downtown East Lansing businesses also have surveillance video cameras.

Personal Safety Tips:

  • Travel with friend(s) or in a group.
  • Use sidewalks and crosswalks. Don’t walk in the street, don’t run into traffic.
  • Avoid dark alleys and parking lots, stay in well-lit areas, keep belongings out of sight and lock doors when parking.
  • Those who are 21 and older, should drink alcohol in moderation, alternating with plenty of water and food.
  • Designate a sober friend to be the driver.
  • Don’t leave belongings unattended: keep cell phones out of sight when not in use, keep purses and wallets closed and car keys secure.

Everyone – community members and visitors alike – are reminded to stay alert, remain aware of their surroundings and personal property/belongings and to report anything suspicious to ELPD. For emergencies, always call 9-1-1. In non-emergency situations, community members can call ELPD at (517) 351-4220 and use option 2 or report minor crimes online here.

To register for the City’s emergency alert system, text EASTLANSING to 888777 or visit

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