With many law enforcement officials across the state of Florida responding to the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, 24 police officers from the University of Tennessee Police Department will travel to Gainesville to assist with security at Saturday’s football game. The game is scheduled for a 3:30 kickoff at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.
“As we were planning the law enforcement operation associated with a game of this magnitude, our chief and the chief from the University of Tennessee Police Department contacted each other,” University of Florida Police Department spokesman Maj. Brad Barber said. “He offered the services of his department, and we readily accepted that offer and are grateful for their assistance.”
UT chief of police Troy Lane told reporters Wednesday he requested officers to volunteer to travel to Florida, and that more than the needed number stepped forward. Lane said UF will reimburse the UT police department and the group will drive down Friday.
“Especially during times of this magnitude is when we see many law enforcement agencies working together towards providing safety and security for our community,” Barber said.
On Thursday, UF advised fans traveling to Gainesville for the game to anticipate heavy traffic, rising waters and gas shortages in the wake of devastation caused by Hurricane Irma.
The Florida Department of Transportation and Florida Highway Patrol announced Thursday that Interstate-75 will remain open after water receded on the Santa Fe River.