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Sunday, June 23, 2024

Police officers expect few problems over weekend

For people who don't want to get arrested during Homecoming, University Police Department Lt. Robert Wagner said to remember three things:

Don't have an open container in public.

Don't drink if you're under 21.

Don't urinate in a public place.

"Those are the three things I'm sure we'll end up dealing with the most," he said.

Otherwise, he expects Homecoming weekend to be "relatively easy."

UPD does not allow vacation time during football weekends, he said, so there will be a full staff of 13 officers at all times.

Extra officers will work the parade and Gator Growl and watch over the TV trucks.

Gator Growl is "a breeze" to work, he said, because crowds are lighter than at games.

Wagner said he expects cooler weather and fewer dehydration issues for the game.

Lt. Keith Kameg, Gainesville Police Department spokesman, said he also expects little trouble.

"It's nothing compared to a Tennessee weekend or a Florida State weekend," he said.

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He doesn't expect any fights to break out.

"Homecoming, other than being busy, is an easy event for us," he said. "People come back, and they don't really come back to be mad at the opponent. They come back to see their friends."

This means GPD expects more small house parties than big blowouts, Kameg said.

Still, he said, GPD will have larger party patrols out and be on the lookout for drunken drivers the day of and night before the game.

UPD does not have party patrols on campus, Wagner said, but will help GPD with drunk driving checkpoints as needed.

UPD will also be on the lookout for drunken drivers at a Driving Under the Influence/Traffic Safety Checkpoint, a UPD press release stated.

The checkpoint, which is just east of the intersection of Museum Road and Radio Road, started Thursday at 10:30 p.m.

Police will be checking for driver's license, registration, seatbelts and alcohol and drug use.

The checkpoint will be conducted by UPD with the help of GPD, the Alachua Police Department, the Florida Highway Patrol and the city's Public Works Department.

Despite his good outlook, Kameg said Homecoming is busy because it is the only football game that involves a pep rally and a parade.

Traffic is always an issue during the event.

GPD will be readily available just as during any football weekend, he said.

Wagner agreed, saying, "There's nothing specific we do that's different."

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