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The Daily Tar Heel

Homecoming will be business as usual for police

Town and University officials said they are planing for Homecoming weekend like a typical home football game.

Randy Young, spokesman for the UNC Department of Public Safety, said there are no operational or logistical differences for Homecoming than a normal home game.

“Kenan Stadium becomes a small city, a thriving city, for three and a half hours on a Saturday afternoon,” he said.

“The (Homecoming) crowds may be slightly bigger, but you know, Kenan (Stadium) holds 65,000 whether it’s Homecoming or not, and that’s really what reflects how we react,” he said.

Young said other effects of game day include personal events during the weekend, such as parties and concerts, but the numbers should be the same as a typical home game.

Young said there is no change with parking and encouraged people to use the park and ride service.

Joshua Mecimore, public information sergeant for the Chapel Hill Police Department, said his department isn’t involved in planning for the Homecoming game — DPS plans the logistics of the game.

Many Chapel Hill police officers are hired on as extra security by DPS while off duty, he said, but for all home football games, not just Homecoming.

Mecimore said he doesn’t anticipate an increase in parties during the weekend. The Alcohol Law Enforcement Response Team, or ALERT, will operate as normal.

“They’re typically out on those game weekends looking for underage parties and underage drinking in the bars and things like that,” he said.

According to information provided by Mecimore, for the last three years, the number of incident reports during Homecoming weekend was not consistently higher or lower than incident reports for normal home game weekends.

The same applied to noise complaints, which Mecimore said are typically higher for all home football game weekends.

He said another effect of home games is that attendees often park in residential areas and block the residents from being able to park.

Brian Litchfield, assistant transit director for Chapel Hill, said any home football and basketball game presents a challenge to keep transit services on schedule.

“Each game is a little bit different based on a number of factors, but for an event like Homecoming, we do expect that there will be larger crowds for the park and ride,” he said.

Litchfield said factors include weather and who UNC is playing. He said he anticipates using more vehicles and operators for the Homecoming game than typical football games.

For the game against N.C. State University, his department used about 35 buses. This provided about 16,000 rides to and from Kenan Stadium for roughly 8,000 people, he said.

He said he expects this same number or slightly more for Homecoming.

“We think it’s a great event for the University and for the town, so we’re happy to work with our partners to provide that service,” he said.

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