In anticipation of the first home game against Livonia at 7 p.m. Friday, the City of Batavia Police Department has a reminder for community members who will be attending the Batavia High School Blue Devils home football games this season at Van Detta Stadium: the department will be strictly enforcing parking and safety rules and regulations.
“It’s going to be exciting and we anticipate large crowds, but that is not an excuse for unruly behavior, so our officers are going to be strictly enforcing parking measures and any violations related to safety and security,” Batavia Police Chief Shawn Heubusch said in a press release. “We are going to be working closely with the school district’s security firm and personnel working the games, as safety is the number one priority for fans, players and the surrounding neighborhood.”
Chief Heubusch noted that construction work near the stadium on Richmond Avenue to Oak Street and Park Road west of the stadium is ongoing throughout the fall. Those traveling in the area should use caution and plan ahead. There may be road work that could impact parking, he said.
“We will be issuing tickets for any car that is illegally parked. For any public event where there is going to be a large crowd, we encourage those attending the game to arrive early and be respectful of people’s properties.” Heubusch said. “Parking is available in the designated lots at Van Detta Stadium and Robert Morris School. If necessary to park on adjacent streets, please adhere to the parking regulations as per the posted signage and do not block driveways. Officers will be monitoring the areas surrounding the stadium for parking violations and issuing parking tickets as necessary.”
In addition to Batavia Police officers and the district’s security firm being on site in and around the stadium, all attendees will be wand-checked to ensure no prohibited items are brought into the facility, he said.
School Superintendent Jason Smith sent a letter home to families last month informing them of the updated security measures to be used at home games. The fact that these football games are popular and well-attended has created a need for additional protection, Smith said.
“In collaboration with the Batavia Police Department, we continue to make safety our number one priority for students, staff, and community members attending events at Van Detta Stadium,” Smith said in the release. “We’re anticipating a large crowd Friday night and throughout the season, and we want to continue to get the word out about enhanced safety protocols, guidelines, and expectations for those attending.”
In addition to coverage by city police, the city schools board approved a contract with Armor Security in May. The agreement is for services through Dec. 31 of this year and is with Armor Security and Protection Inc. of Rochester. The company is to provide state-certified security guards “to provide security and safety services for property located at 120 Richmond Ave., Batavia,” the contract states. Work includes monitoring venues for inappropriate, illegal behavior or actions, reporting of safety concerns within the venue and assisting with safe entry and exits.
The guards are to notify law enforcement or other emergency service providers as deemed necessary. Documentation is to be provided to the school district about any incidents deemed a reportable event or at the request of the district, according to the contract. Guards will be wearing an Armor Security uniform of black pants and shoes, and an Armor uniform shirt, layered with an Armor jacket during colder months.