UA Ramps up Security for Football Weekend
When Alabama rolls into town on Saturday, there will be around 200 police officers from Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley on the University of Arkansas campus.
Capt. Kathryn Huddler with the UA Police Department said the university only has 31 police officers.
“We pull a lot of officers from local agencies,” Huddler said. “There’s just not enough staffing to staff 215 and then do the daily duties of all the police departments in the area.”
Students are expected to camp out on stadium drive as early as Thursday. Police plan to block and patrol that area.
“We close down southbound traffic at Gate 15 on Stadium Drive just for the safety of the students that are camping,” Huddler said.
After the last home game, police said a female student was raped near Lot 14 on campus. Even though the extra officers are protocol during football games, police will still patrol certain areas.
“We definitely patrol all the parking areas and the student living areas,” Huddler said.
There are construction projects around the Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium with specific areas for people to walk on. Matt Brumett, a UA student, said this helps police officers keep people in tighter groups.
“Honestly, it can only help because everybody is going to be in that area. It just narrows the window of places to look for people,” Matt Brumett said.
Other Razorback fans such as Erik Bricker understand the need for traffic control since thousands of extra people will be in town.
“We don’t mind a bunch of security up here. It’s very helpful actually so we don’t mind it at all. It’s not a big deal to us,” Erik Bricker said.
Police said they will be on the lookout for specific situations such as intoxicated people and large parties in the tailgating areas.
“We always have contingency plans for these kinds of things, so I think we are pretty well prepared,” said Huddler.