UAPD Prepare for Homecoming Crowd
A long homecoming weekend lies ahead for the UA Police Department officers.
Large crowds are certain to attend the pep rally and top 10 football match against No. 9 South Carolina, among parades and other events, and UAPD must provide security for all the events.
But homecoming security isn’t much different from most other university events, said Lt. Gary Crain, UAPD public information officer.
“At pep rallies, we have a couple of officers assigned that patrol the area. We normally don’t have problems at pep rallies; everyone is just enthusiastic and calling the Hogs,” Crain said.
Because the homecoming parade is not as frequent an event as pep rallies, more officers will be assigned to this event in order to protect the participants from other traffic.
“For the parade, we mainly help with intersections. It’s our job to divert traffic and stop it from intermingling with the parade. There will be three or four officers assigned due to the small number of intersections,” Crain said.
Lauren Waldrip, a junior business major and 2011 homecoming queen delegate, said she’s grateful that UAPD protects homecoming participants.
“Such large crowds can be a little intimidating, and knowing that there are officers on duty at the pep rally, parade and game is definitely a comforting thought,” Waldrip said.
UAPD officers expect the same number of fans for the homecoming game and will provide the same amount of security as they do for every other home game.
“We have over 180 officers that work home football games,” Crain said. “Every intersection and every street around the stadium is controlled for every game, and will also be controlled for this one.”
UAPD assigns a particular post and responsibility to each of the 180 officers for home games, and these won’t change during homecoming, he said.
Kathryn Gadberry, a junior business major responsible for the homecoming festivities for her sorority, said it makes her more comfortable to know that security will be provided for the majority of the events during the week.
“We all work so hard on homecoming and we’re so proud of what we do. It would be a disappointment for one person to ruin it for everyone,” Gadberry said.
UAPD officers reported no prior security issues during homecoming and rarely deals with security threats at any UA event, Crain said.