Regina police lean on Twitter for Grey Cup security plan
The social media tool Twitter will play an important role for police in Regina during Grey Cup events.
The Regina Police Service said Wednesday that in addition to using its usual account, @reginapolice, no less than nine officers will be tweeting from other Twitter accounts.
"We know the value and the power of social media," Insp. Corey Zaharuk, one of the lead officers coordinating the police department's Grey Cup plan, said Wednesday. "We want to be engaging with the community on social media."
Zaharuk said police will be able to quickly provide information to people during festival events. Officials with the Grey Cup organizing group said that could include information about how best to get around a busy festival site.
Extra officers ready
Police said they will also be ready to deploy as many as 160 officers, if needed, to festival sites and Mosaic Stadium on game day, Nov. 24.
The actual number of officers, on any given day, will change and will be in addition to the regular complement of police performing routine patrols of the city.
Even more officers, from the RCMP, could be involved on game day, especially if the Roughriders are in the final.
Police will have access to the RCMP's public order team to help their own crowd control unit, if required.
"We expect this to be a busy, noisy week," Zaharuk added. "We have to be prepared for an emergency, but we expect that football fans and other visitors to Regina as well as our own Rider Nation will actively make this a positive, fun experience."
Crowd control and traffic are a big priority. Roads around Regina's Victoria Park be closed. Adjacent to the park, on City Square Plaza, a large tent will serve as one of the key venues for festivities.
Traffic around the stadium will also be strictly controlled on game day.
Police have also been working with a private company to place a number of closed circuit TV cameras to keep an eye on things downtown. Officials said 20 surveillance cameras will keep an eye on "public assets" around the festival site.