By Mike Dunn
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia Police say they will be beefing up the deployment of officers Sunday night, just in case the Eagles clinch the NFC East and fans take to the streets in celebration.
A loss bt the Dallas Cowboys during the day on Sunday and an Eagles’ victory that night would give Philadelphia the NFC East division title.
And chief inspector Joseph Sullivan says the police department will be ready.
“There will be additional deployment Sunday night due to the possibility of a clinching,” Sullivan tells KYW Newsradio. “We anticipate the possibility of a celebration. We’re staffed for it, we’re prepared it.”
Sullivan won’t give the number of additional officers. He says the department is cooperating with other agencies.
“We’re working together with SEPTA police and Pennsylvania state police, as well as the Eagles organization, to make sure that we are able to provide the proper environment,” he said today.
Sullivan says the primary focus of the stepped-up deployment will be the stadium complex.
“We’ll be focusing very heavily on the stadium. Historically the celebration would be in the vicinity of the stadium, being that it is a home game,” he said. “You’re going to see police deployed in every possible mode, so that we will be capable of responding to any demonstration. We are going to be quite capable of responding to anyone who wishes to disrupt the healthy celebration and cause problems.”
Sullivan says fans who watched on television should avoid going to the stadium complex after the game, because the traffic plan will only allow cars to move away from, not toward, that area, “and that plan will prevent anyone who’s not leaving the stadium complex from getting to the stadium complex.”
Insp. Sullivan reminds fans that if the Eagles clinch, celebrating is fine — to a point.
“We welcome the revelry, as long as it doesn’t turn into vandalism and destruction of properties or endangering others. We will deal with that very quickly and very definitely, and we will remove those individuals from the scene. That behavior simply won’t be tolerated, and we’ll be staffed to the extent that we will not have to tolerate it.”
And Sullivan stresses that prior to the game, tailgating will not be allowed until the stadium parking gates open at 1pm.
“The parking lots do not open until 1 o’clock. And that will be strongly enforced by the Philadelphia Police Department. There will be no curbside tailgating permitted. So there is no point in coming down prior to 1 o’clock.”
Despite all the precautions, Sullivan is hoping for a great evening.
“We’re looking forward to an Eagles victory, and a great game, and a good time to be had by all,” he said.