Valdosta - Nearly 10, 000 fans showed up last week to cheer on the Valdosta Wildcats in their home opener.
With the team's track record, they are expecting each game to be equally as crowded. "There's an excitement in the air with the new football coach," said Valdosta High School Principal Brett Stanton. "We have high expectations as always with our new football program."
Last Friday, this area of the stadium was wall to wall with football fans, most of them loitering. So Valdosta High and the Police Department have decided to add 14 officers to assure these crowds stay in their seats. "As far as just bunching up, groups of people just to socialize and talk, we're not going to be able to allow that and we realized that from last football game," Stanton says.
They worry this loitering could evolve into something more. "You get groups of people under the stands just socializing and talking and again, it could be horse play and that could lead to physical altercation."
That's something these new officers won't allow. "We're are not going to tolerate fighting and situations we call disorderly conduct. You're going to go to jail. We're going to arrest people who get out of hand," says Captain Brian Childress of the Valdosta Police Department.
Police and High School officials hope the larger police presence will assure all fans have a fun and safe football season. The new police will be seen at next week's game against Brookwood.