Georgia, Florida fans agree when it comes to security
JSO adds extra security measures as fans set up in RV City ahead of rivalry game
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Preparations were underway Thursday for the annual Georgia-Florida rivalry game this weekend in Jacksonville.
As Bulldogs and Gators fans continued to roll into RV City, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office was securing areas around TIAA Bank Field downtown.
According to the Sheriff's Office, more than 650 officers will be working at Saturday's game and in surrounding neighborhoods.
On Thursday, the Sheriff's Office brought in additional lighting. There will also be metal detectors at the stadium.
Meanwhile, fans from both sides were already having fun at RV City. That's why extra safety measures started taking shape Thursday -- to ensure that fun continues.
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In addition to the thousands of port-a-potties popping up downtown, people can expect to see additional lighting systems, patrols and officers stretching from the Jacksonville Landing, which is usually the centerpiece of events and a post-game party, to tailgating areas around the stadium, including one near Sunday's shooting, all the way to RV City, where fans started rolling in earlier this week.
"We feel safe in here because of the gate. There's a guard. There's private security. Plus, JSO is there," said Richard Dane, a Gators fan who calls himself the "Mayor of RV City."
Dane told News4Jax he feels safer this year.
"I have always felt safe, but I would say more this year just because they've increased the presence due to that shooting," he said.
The one thing Gators and Bulldogs fans agree on is security. Randy Stone, a Georgia fan who has been coming to the game for 10 years, said he noticed an increase of patrols this year.
"I was up by 5 o'clock this morning, and I saw them riding around, security," Stone said. "I think it is safe."
Security aside, Bulldogs fans, Gators fans and Jacksonville residents have all started to count down until the River City's busiest one-day event. The game kicks off at 3:30 p.m. Saturday.
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