Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

City leaders call for caution this weekend

In preparation for Saturday’s “Game of the Century” against LSU in Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox and Tuscaloosa Police Chief Steve Anderson advise both students and visitors to practice extreme caution and responsibility.

“Firstly, I’d just ask everyone to be responsible while they’re preparing to enjoy the game, especially with their alcohol consumption,” Maddox said. “Secondly, just be patient, especially in the case of a close game. Everyone will be leaving at the same time, and we imagine that it will take two or three hours to clear traffic fully.”

Chief Anderson echoed the mayor’s advice and asked students and fans alike to be responsible and aware.

“If you’ll be responsible with your behavior, your conduct, your drinking, everybody can have a good time,” Anderson said. “The thing is to just act like responsible adults. If you do that, everybody will have a good time. No one will end up getting hurt, nobody will end up going to jail, and people can just enjoy a No. 1 ranked team against a No. 2 ranked team and just enjoy what this is all about.”

Not willing to rely fully on the responsibility of the gameday crowd, however, both officials noted that the police presence on campus before, during and after the game would be significantly increased.

“The Tuscaloosa Police Department are adding additional personnel for the crowd the game will draw,” Maddox said. “We plan to employ a 15 percent increase in our police force that day. Other than that, we expect to have normal gameday operations.”

Chief Anderson said that increased presence would begin Thursday and continue until Sunday morning, when the last of the football crowd and the traffic and risks associated with them leave the area.

“Starting on Thursday, leading up to a ballgame, we systematically increase the number of officers that are out, especially in the area of The Strip and the downtown area, to deal with the number of people coming in town,” Anderson said. “With a game like this, you have more people coming in on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, so we ramp up our numbers to deal with the crowd and safety issues starting on Thursday, and that will go into the early morning hours of Sunday.”

The increased security is normal for home football games, but the hype surrounding the game and the nature of LSU’s fan base has necessitated more police presence than most games.

“We know LSU travels large,” Maddox said. “I would imagine, obviously, we’ll have more than 100,000 people inside the stadium and tens of thousands outside, and it’s a night game. We anticipate a long day of festivities in the city.”

“We have increased a large number of officers from what we normally use on a home game day,” Anderson said. “This is because of the number of people that will be in town. We made the increase for security reasons and for traffic reasons.”

Speaking to traffic concerns, Maddox asked everyone on and around campus to be fully aware of the officers directing traffic before and after the game.

“There will be dozens of TPD officers manning intersections and directing traffic, so please, please be careful,” Maddox said. “The major intersections around the stadium will be manned by our police force, so please be mindful of that, and keep an eye out for those officers serving us.”





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