STATESBORO, GA (WTOC) - Thousands of people, including students, local fans, and out of town visitors will flock to campus Wednesday night for the first home football game of the year.
Those kinds of crowds present challenges to the small university police force.
The closer it gets to kickoff, the more people will pack the sidewalks and parking lots around Paulson Stadium. University Police tell us they'll pull out all the stops, just like they do on other game nights.
Traffic will get even busier along Lanier Drive as thousands show up for a ballgame. The afternoon includes getting illegally parked cars out of the paid parking lots. Besides private gate security, University Police bring in other agencies to help handle the drastic jump in people and cars in the area.
"We've always brought in extra officers from Statesboro Police, from GBI, or State Patrol, to help us with crowd control to help us with traffic flow. So it's not unusual to see those agencies in town for a large crowd like this," said Chief Laura McCullough, University PD.
Lanier Drive saw a number of armed robberies last month, but the chief says they have enough people to respond to crime and deal with the thousands of people coming and going from the game.
Chief McCullough says the night shift officers work business as usual, and it's that extra personnel that handles the challenges of game night.