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Police keep peace before and after first home football game
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - It was a big night in Kalamazoo as the Broncos took on Nicholls State University in Western Michigan University's first home game. The broncos fell to Nicholls State 27 to 23.
Now, police are out in full force hoping to keep after-the-game festivities from getting out of control.
Newschannel 3's Julia Fello rode with a Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety lieutenant as CommUniverCity Night was in full swing to show first-hand how they're keeping the peace.
The goal is not to keep fans from having a good time. Officers are working to prevent any of these parties from unraveling out of control, but knowing when to step in can be tough.
"There's a lot of excitement with the students and a lot of excitement with the community and that leads to large crowds," Lt. Jeff Vanderwiere says.
Those crowds are what law enforcement will be keeping an eye on. Before the game, Lt. Vanderwiere showed some off-campus areas where students are ready for some football.
"As that party gets bigger, louder, it becomes more of a problem for us because, you can see what they're willing to do for you on camera." Vanderwiere says.
"Something like this is getting to a point where we'll keep an eye on it, maybe even tell them to start keeping it down," he says of one party. The lieutenant was confident this crowd would disperse, because they're all headed to the game.
No liquids or large backpacks were allowed into Waldo Stadium Saturday night. Sheriff's deputies were busy screening fans as they made it into the packed stadium. Law enforcement worked hard to prevent what happened last year on Stadium Drive. At the first home game last season, a drunk-driving crash left a pedestrian in a coma.
Those on patrol planned to be back in these areas after the game.
As far as Newschannel 3 knows Saturday night from campus police, there have been no major arrests or problems.