Homecoming weekend is one many students look forward to at James Madison University, but this weekend, Harrisonburg police are making sure students don't have too much fun by increasing patrols.
Scott Ferrin, a junior at JMU, says he's excited for the upcoming homecoming weekend, and he's already heard about parties being planned.
"Just because it's homecoming weekend, people are going to go a little bit more overboard, but I don't think it's going to be out of control," says Ferrin.
After hearing about extra police patrols, he says he definitely thinks they will keep students in check.
"Like that's what would stop me. Like if I saw a cop I'd be like, 'Okay, I need to calm down.' Definitely," says Ferrin.
Mary-Hope Vass with the Harrisonburg Police Department says they're able to bring in off-duty officers thanks to grant money from the Department for Alcoholic Beverage Control and the Rockingham Memorial Hospital Strong Families, Great Youth Coalition.
"Certainly when the budget is tight, it's difficult to get the extra officers on the streets, and these organizations were kind enough to give us these grants for different weekends. And we have used the grant money in the past already this year," says Vass.
Vass says JMU patrols have gone smoothly so far this year.
She adds, "We want individuals in the area to know we're not going to tolerate underage drinking and different alcohol offenses such as that, but we also want the community to know they can have a safe weekend."
Ferrin says, while he knows some students aren't happy about the increase in police presence, he thinks it's effective.
"I kind of think it sucks because no one wants to get in trouble, but it has made it safer, to be honest," says Ferrin.
JMU is working to increase police presence as a deterrent this year, after last year's Springfest incident.
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