Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police say they’re ready to handle Super Bowl celebrations. Department officials said they’re ramping up normal operations on Super Bowl Sunday.
Police believe they’ll get a higher number of calls, and – if the Panthers win – they’re preparing in the event fans start celebrating. Police said not to expect to see officers in riot gear.
“So regular officers,” said Deputy Chief Jeff Estes. “A few more out and about in different places, so we’ll be able to handle our call volume and also any impromptu celebrations that may pop up.”
Super Bowl Sunday has two types of watch parties.
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Bars and restaurants will be packed with fans. And, private parties in houses will be in full swing.
Police say that why they’re expecting a higher call volume.
“Unfortunately when you mix people, family, friends and alcohol, our domestics go up, our assault calls go up, etc. So we’re planning and preparing for both,” Deputy Chief Estes said.
The big question is - what about after the game?
Sports victories have been known to send fans into a frenzy. In the past, police departments in cities across the country have had to deal with chaos on streets after their college or professional sports teams won championships.
CMPD aren’t saying exactly how many officers will be working Sunday – but Deputy Chief Estes said, “We’re not quite as 'all hands on deck' for Sunday... but we’re prepared.”
The department is getting ready for everything, including celebrations that might get out of hand.
“Of course we have to prepare for that,” Deputy Chief Estes said. “I don’t anticipate that. Of course it could happen. We just don’t believe there’s a high likelihood we get large taking to the streets etc to anything other than to celebrate in a peaceful manner.”
“Fortunately for us – normally in Charlotte we don’t have a big culture of taking the streets in response to big victories like that,” Estes continued. “If they do, we believe our citizens will celebrate peacefully. But however we are staffed to handle any type of impromptu celebrations that might take place.”
The celebrations could continue long after Sunday if the Panthers defeat the Denver Broncos and bring home the Lombardi Trophy.
Parade plans are quietly being made.
If the team wins, a Panthers victory celebration would most likely take place on Tuesday on Tryon Street, and could draw 200,000 fans.
So police have to prepare for a parade also.
“Making sure we are staffed and we have the parade route staffed appropriately, trying to take care of traffic control measures etc,” the Deputy Chief said. “Normal things we would do for a parade that takes place in the same location – just ramped up based on the number of attendance we believe we may get.”
Estes said he suspects CMPD would recommend the parade be classified as an extraordinary event.
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