East Lansing police prep for Final Four


Win or lose, East Lansing police say they’ll be ready for festivities after Michigan State plays in the Final Four.

Students piling into streets to celebrate a win or mourn a loss is a familiar site after a big MSU Game. Sunday’s gathering was relatively tame, with no injuries, two arrests, and a handful of small fires.

But in other years, such as after the 2013 Big Ten Football Championship, it has been much different.

“With history being what it is, and kinda dictating how we respond to these incidents, our resources here locally are immediately tapped out,” East Lansing Deputy Police Chief Steve Gonzalez said.

Which is why Gonzalez says it becomes a team effort for law enforcement to keep people and property safe. East Lansing police will work with six other agencies to make sure there’s enough officers on patrol Saturday, and possibly Monday, in case things get rowdy.

“We will have a very large contingent of police officers in town to make sure things don’t get out of hand post-game,” Gonzalez said. “And we will deploy them in strategic areas where, historically, we have had problems.”

Gonzalez added while it’s good to celebrate, he urges students not to break the law. Because even if they don’t think they’ll get caught, chances are, they will.

“Especially in today’s day and age, you’re just simply not anonymous,” Gonzalez said. “Even if you’re in a crowd of a thousand people, or 2-or-3,000 people, you are not anonymous.”

Police have used social media, even posts by others, to catch people who may have broken the law, and even did so after this past weekend’s gathering. And the charges can stick.

“A criminal charge will certainly stay with you past your time here in East Lansing,” Gonzalez said.

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