Police presence heightened for Convo’s 2 Chainz show

By Mitchell Spence

Local and state police divisions escalated their presence around campus in preparation for Sunday’s 2 Chainz concert at the Convocation Center.

The Convo opened its doors at 6:30 p.m. and the concert began at 7:30 p.m. with a larger than usual police presence to keep things in order. NIU Police Sgt. Jeffrey Riddell said in a briefing before patrol Sunday evening police expected 1,200 attendees. NIU Police Office John Campbell said his superiors were involved in the decision to have more officers work during the concert and didn’t know the information used to decide on the number of officers.

During his briefing, Riddell said eight more DeKalb Police officers than usual would be on duty and there would be 12 State Police officers operating in the area. The surge in numbers was part of a method to establish a police presence and help get people to and from the concert, said NIU Police officer Michelle Anderson.

“It’s more preemptive preparation on the front end and less complication on the back end,” Anderson said. “The state works with us … and we get along with them really well.”

For large events the police make sure they have someone at every post and conduct pat-downs for weapons and contraband. They also make sure people without tickets don’t get in and try to keep people who are under the influence of alcohol from entering or causing too much trouble, Anderson said.

Before the amount of police cooperation present at events like Sunday’s, large events like Homecoming could be a little bit chaotic, said Jared Burke, DeKalb Police resident officer. Burke said the cooperation between the departments is essential to properly patrol and respond to problems that come up at large events with many people present.

“You have to share the bigger events. NIU [Police] couldn’t handle Homecoming alone, but neither could we,” Burke said.

Although much of the patrolling for the event revolved around driving through parking lots to establish the police presence, Campbell was optimistic the event would go smoothly.

Campbell said the NIU Police often offer backup assistance in traffic stops and DeKalb Police does the same for them.

“We have a really good rapport with the night shift in regard to performing stops,” Campbell said.