"Me n my deputy dogg," wrote Snoop Dogg on his Instagram site
As a corps of well-paid cops from around the state converge on UCSD's drug-and-booze-plagued Sun God music festival next month, their minds may turn to this year’s happenings at a famous Texas music blow-out.
Years of drug overdoses, alcohol poisonings, and at least one student death, have cast an increasingly harsh spotlight on the Sun God concert, with school officials forced to spend more on security and reduce crowd size to deal with problems.
"To ensure that the quality of Sun God was not diminished during this transitional year, [UCSD] agreed, on a one-time basis, to both backfill lost revenue from the elimination of non-affiliate tickets and to underwrite additional security measures in north campus," said an August 31, 2014, report on last year's event by interim vice chancellor of student affairs Alan Houston. Lost revenue alone was $165,000, according to the document.
"We received assistance from 15 law enforcement agencies, and were scheduled to have 57% more hours of police service throughout the day," said one Houston account. A phalanx of rent-a-cops was also dispatched. "In 2013 we deployed 280 StaffPro personnel; in 2014 we hired 400 StaffPro, a 43% increase."
Though "the overall number of student conduct violations during Sun God weekend decreased in absolute numbers," the report says, the level of incidents "remained constant when calculated per 1000 attendees."
For this year's May 3 event, university officials promised even more precautions and a double-fenced beer garden to keep students under control.
Then came the big announcement.
"In the year that the Sun God Task Force emphasized the importance of drug and alcohol safety, they brought in Snoop Dogg, an icon of drug use (mostly marijuana), as the primary headliner for the festival," notes the Guardian, UCSD's student newspaper, in an April 8 editorial."
The piece quoted Seraphin Raya the associate vice president of the school's Associated Students Concerts & Events arm, as telling the paper, "the organization believes that Snoop Dogg doesn’t promote the kind of excessive or dangerous drug use that has sent UCSD students to the hospital."
But California cops policing Sun God who are approached by the rapper for photo ops may be wary after a Texas lawman recently found himself under disciplinary fire.
As reported by the Dallas Morning News April 2, "Snoop Dogg saw trooper Billy Spears and asked for a picture at the South by Southwest music festival two weeks ago, which he later posted on the social media site Instagram."
The rapper titled the photo with the cop, attired in his regular law enforcement regalia, including traditional state trooper's Stetson, "Me n my deputy dogg."
According to the paper, the citation against Spears said, "While working a secondary employment job, Trooper Spears took a photo with a public figure who has a well-known criminal background including numerous drug charges. The public figure posted the photo on social media and it reflects poorly on the Agency."
Added the Morning News story, "Snoop Dogg, born Calvin Broadus, has been convicted several times of drug possession. In 1993, he faced a murder charge when his bodyguard shot and killed a rival gang member. Snoop Dogg and the bodyguard eventually were acquitted of the charge."