Today: Jun 17, 2024

Jail N Bail raises money for Special Olympics

photo courtesy| The seventh annual Jail N Bail took place April 23 in the academic quad.

Juliemar Ortiz – Special to the Southern News 

When he looked around the academic quad, even though it was cold and the wind was blowing, he saw a lot of smiling faces, said Southern Connecticut State University Police Chief Joseph Dooley.

“Today was a little chillier than we had hoped for the Jail N Bail,” he said. “But we still had a good turnout.”

Jail N Bail, according to Dooley, is a fundraising event put together by Southern Connecticut State University’s Beta Mu Sigma Fraternity, the university police department, and Special Olympics of Connecticut. This year it was the seventh annual Jail N Bail at SCSU.

According to Beta Mu Sigma treasurer Mike Sampson, Jail N Bail is an event where people can buy arrest warrants for five dollars. The event lasted about nine hours on Tuesday.

Arrest warrants were purchased at the police station, a table at the Adanti Student Center food court, the university police department, the Office of Student Life, and with any brother of Beta Mu Sigma in the weeks prior to the event. People also bought warrants on the day of the event at a table set up by Beta, said Sampson.

Students and faculty wrote down the name and description of the person they want the police to arrest and the location they would be at during a certain time of the day. The police then traveled all around the campus to the location of the individual either on foot or in their police car, with sirens ringing, and found the person on the warrant and arrested them.

The police then escorted the person to a jail located outside in the academic quad. A judge set bonds for the arrested individuals and they could not leave the jail cell until they raised all the money for their bond. People who walked past the jail donated money to the people who were arrested.

According to Dooley, if a person does not want to be arrested they do not have to.

“It’s all in good fun,” he said.

Sarah Bellerive, a representative from Connecticut Special Olympics who attended the event along with Special Olympics athletes, said they brought some athletes to the event to represent the organization.

“The athletes had a blast today, said Bellerive. “They love coming and hanging out, they love the police department, and going to arrest people.”

Rosalie Luciano, sophomore business management student at Southern, said she was not arrested. However, she volunteered to help the Beta brothers at the warrant table, where students could buy the warrants. She also said she donated money to people in jail because she could not raise the money herself.

“It was funny to see what people would do for a dollar,” said Luciano.

Special Olympics is an organization that provides training and competition as well as health screenings for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, said Bellerive. The organization is active in all 50 states in the U.S. and it is international as well, she said.

The money raised at the Jail N Bail event, said Bellerive, will help to provide year round training for the athletes. She said there are four major sporting events throughout the state every year. One of these events is the Summer Games, which will be held on the SCSU campus this year on June 7, 8, and 9.

Dooley said, “We’re proud to be a sponsor for the summer games.”

According to the Special Olympics Connecticut website, “No achievement is too small and no time is too slow in Special Olympics.”

This year during the Summer Games, athletes will be competing in athletics, aquatics, tennis, gymnastics, cycling, and soccer. It also says, that today, more than 5,000 athletes compete in Special Olympics Connecticut. The training and competition programs are designed to meet all levels of ability.

This year, Jail N Bail featured a new attraction. According to Dooley, a dunk tank was added. People paid two or three dollars to dunk Southern’s faculty and staff members.

Scheduled for the dunk tank were Chief Joseph Dooley, Brad Crerar who is the director of the Adanti Student Center, Rich Cavanaugh who is the SCSU football coach, Swimming Coach Tim Quill, Chartwells Manager Danny Dawkins, and several other university and state police officers.

“It was also good to see our law enforcement partners in the region come out and help us,” said Dooley.

Throughout the years, the police department has raised close to $70,000 to donate to Special Olympics, said Dooley. The involvement with Special Olympics of Beta and the SCSU Police Department does not stop at the Jail N Bail.

“I’m also a part of the Connecticut police chiefs and deputy chiefs who will come on the Saturday of Special Olympics in the Summer Games and give out medals to the athletes,” Dooley said.

During the summer games, said Bellerive, the Beta Mu Sigma brothers run the grill and help out at other events throughout the year.

“They always send a few brothers out to help us out,” said Bellerive.

Photo Courtesy |
Photo Courtesy |

Tom Frenette, junior communications student at Southern, said the event was like practical joke and it was for a good cause. He saw people getting arrested by the bunch.

“It was funny because there were friends getting each other back,” said Frenette. “They would get arrested then buy a warrant on the spot to get their friend arrested too.”

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