The Columbia and MU police departments had their hands full Thursday night for the Missouri-Nebraska football game.
With more than 65,000 people on hand and a flash flood warning in effect, local law enforcement said things ran fairly smoothly.
“I think everything went fine,” CPD Detective Jeff Westbrook said. “We didn’t have any incidents that were out of the ordinary.”
Police anticipated poor weather and were prepared to tailor plans for traffic control. Keeping those traveling on foot safe was a big priority for police in poor weather situations.
“You have to be concerned for pedestrian safety with low visibility,” MUPD Capt. Brian Weimer said. “We’re also very concerned about all of the officers assisting us and making sure they’re visible while directing traffic. We have to make sure they’re wearing high visibility vests or rain jackets.”
Although the weather added an obstacle in traffic control, Westbrook said heavy rain makes game night easier in terms of controlling alcohol-related offenses.
“When a game’s over, people are either really happy or not too happy and either one can be a reason to drink a lot,” Westbrook said. “Lots of problems occur when large numbers of these people spill out into the street, and we didn’t have that last night because of the weather.”
Weimer said he agreed that a reduced crowd size due to weather makes alcohol enforcement easier the problem was not completely averted.
“There were a few arrests like we see with other games due to alcohol-related issues,” Weimer said.
Police also had to deal with a campus-wide power outage, which put both the scoreboard and the public address system out of service at Memorial Stadium.
“We already had the groups we needed together to start working on that,” Weimer said. “Campus facilities did great work to get in quickly and get things going and the fire department was able to provide temporary lighting in certain areas. Everyone worked together and got it done.”