Law enforcement can handle weekend activities expected to draw tens of thousands to Columbia, including the S.C. State Fair and the University of South Carolina’s football game, as well as protecting areas still vulnerable after last week’s massive flood, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said Monday.
Richland County and the Columbia Police Department, which have about 1,200 officers combined, will get help from 200 additional officers from 13 different law enforcement agencies. They include the S.C. Department of Corrections, and Greenville and Spartanburg sheriffs departments, Lott said.
“We have plenty of manpower,” he said.
Events this weekend include:
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▪ The first weekend of the S.C. State Fair, which starts Wednesday. The fair expects to draw more than 40,000 people on Saturday.
▪ USC’s home football game against Vanderbilt at 4 p.m. Saturday as well as the university’s homecoming activities. The game is not sold out but could attract more than 75,000 fans.
▪ Benedict College’s home football game against Clark Atlanta at 2 p.m. Saturday, part of the school’s homecoming weekend
▪ The opening of the new USC Alumni Center with a concert Friday by country music star Brad Paisley
▪ A Def Leppard and Foreigner concert Friday at the Colonial Life Arena
“It’s an exciting weekend for our city,” Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook said.
Officers will continue to patrol areas hit hard by the historic rain on Oct. 4, Lott said. Those areas include include Eastover, the St. Andrews/Broad River area, south Beltline Road and the Lake Katharine area.
“We will not leave places unprotected,” Lott said.
With a boil-water advisory still in effect for much of Columbia, the State Fair said it has brought in distilled water for food vendors to use for cooking and cleaning.
USC said it will not sell fountain drinks and turn off water fountains at the game at Williams-Brice Stadium. Hot dogs will be cooked at kitchens in Carolina Stadium and Colonial Life Arena where the school can boil water. And concession stands will have dispensers with clean water for servers to wash hands.