By Jennifer McGraw

DAVIS (CBS13) – Thousands of people are expected to attend the 104th annual UC Davis Picnic Day Saturday.

“I think we’re talking about an additional 30,000 to 40,000 people that are coming to town,” said Mayor Robb Davis.

But changes are being made this year following last years altercation involving plainclothes police officers.

City leaders conducted two independent investigations into what happened and results were released publicly last week.

Now police are operating under new rules to keep the peace.

“It’s going to be all hands on deck type of preparation. Everybody is going to be working,” said Lt. Paul Doroshov with Davis Police.

Picnic Day is chance to celebrate the university’s accomplishments and contributions.

“It’s really about having fun,” the mayor said.

But not to excess.

“We are asking that people behave and watch their alcohol consumption,” Lt. Doroshov said.

Last years celebration was marred by a melee involving three undercover officers who drove up to a crowd blocking the street.

Dashcam video showed the fight that broke out and injured two officers.

Five people were arrested and claimed they didn’t know the men in the van were officers.

An independent audit of the incident found the officers’ actions were hostile and antagonized the crowd.

The review says several department policies were violated including:

  • officers in plain clothes not identifying themselves
  • officers using rude language
  • the department releasing inaccurate information to the media

This year police are making changes.

“We are not deploying any plainclothes officers this year. Everyone is going to be marked in uniform. Especially for any type of enforcement action,” Doroshov said.

Mayor Davis hopes this years Picnic Day will be remembered as a family friendly event and not accusations of excessive force.

“When we have a essentially the doubling of our city in a day, we have to approach that differently, larger crowds, more people, clearly there’s more parties and alcohol being consumed, so it is our responsibility,” he said.

A responsibility the department has accepted.

“Things happen in police work and we try to learn from it and get better,” Doroshov said.

All five people arrested and charged last year are now in the city’s restorative justice program, which will allow the charges to be dismissed and off their record.

Jennifer McGraw


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