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Local colleges increase patrols for Super Bowl weekend

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SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI)  — Police are getting ready for potential celebrations across New England if the Patriots win the Super Bowl Sunday.

At the University of Rhode Island, officials are preparing for potential property damage caused by the celebrations, based on the university’s track record.

URI Police Department Chief Michael Chalek said his department has increased patrols over the weekend and has also been in touch with both South Kingstown police and state police for extra support if needed.

“There has been some property damage in the past, and we want to ensure that doesn’t happen,” Chalek said.

Last year when the Patriots beat the Atlanta Falcons last year, two URI students were arrested during a rowdy post-game celebration. When the Patriots beat the Seattle Seahawks in the 2015 Super Bowl, six students were arrested during a huge post-game celebration that caused property damage on-campus.

Chalek said while most students celebrate properly, he is concerned some students will take it too far.

“That’s what we don’t want, we want everybody to enjoy it, we really do,” Chalek said. “Our goal is to make this a joyous, happy celebration for our students and one we can all be proud of.”

The city of Boston is also preparing for the possible victory. Mayor Marty Walsh and Boston police commissioner William Evans said they’ve reached out to local colleges and a lot of officers will be on patrol Sunday night, searching for any shenanigans.

“Our biggest message is, you know, obviously we want the Patriots to win, but we want, if people come out, to celebrate responsibly, and more importantly, we don’t want anyone hurt,” Evans said.

Providence College, Rhode Island College and Johnson and Wales are also taking precautions for the upcoming weekend so students can enjoy the weekend safely.

PC Associate Vice President for Public Affairs Steven Maurano said the school is communicating with Providence police to ensure the surrounding off-campus neighborhood is safe, secure and peaceful. There will also be a parking ban in effect on certain streets to help prevent large gatherings.

JWU Communications and Media Relations Ryan Crowley said the school is hosting events for students to attend on-campus and has communicated the expectation to students to celebrate responsibly.

RIC Associate Director for Communications Kristy DosReis said there will be an additional officer on duty Sunday night, but post-Super Bowl celebrations haven’t historically been an issue on-campus.Watch exclusive Big Game Coverage on WPRI 12 – your official station of the New England Patriots:

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