MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Months of preparation still doesn’t fully compare to a live scenario, but Morgantown Police Chief Ed Preston said he’s confident with all hands on deck for Saturday’s home opener of Mountaineer football.
“We have MECCA 911, we have Mon County EMS, we have Mark Caravasos the Fire Chief, and other athletic staff in a room together,” Preston said on WAJR’s Morgantown AM Thursday. “We’re all hooked up to head sets and computers, and we’re managing the operation from there.”
The Morgantown Police Department will be fully staffed for Saturday’s noon kick-off versus ECU. Preston said it’s helpful to get a noon game early in the year, which helps work out any potential kinks in game day plans.
“We’ve kind of noticed that with the noon games there is less of a build up before the game, and so we don’t have to deal with as many problems at the game as it goes on,” he said. “But when you have the large build up, then we seem to have more alcohol-related issues the later the game goes into the day.”
That’s a possibility Preston said all the departments in the county prepare for during the year. It could be a possibility too — Oklahoma State comes to town at the end of October.
“There are some games that are absolutely monster games when they come up,” he said. “Like when we have a prime time game, when it’s a seven or eight p.m. kick-off and it’s nationally televised. We’re ranked, they’re ranked. Those games tend to get a lot more [police] activity.”
For those planning on attending the game, Chief Preston recommends remaining on the main roads — including using the much talked about Easton Hill Intersection.
“The traffic plan that we have set up is to put the traffic onto the interstate as fast as possible such as using the Mileground, the new Easton Hill intersection, or going out Patteson Drive to I-79 through Granville,” he said.
For many, it will be the first time seeing and using that intersection, but Preston said you’ll have a better shot of remaining in the normal flow of traffic using the main roads.
“Everyone that’s going to be attending to not try to use shortcuts around the streets,” he said. “Those streets like Stewartstown and West Run Road, they are not going to move very fast.”