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Police plan large game-day force

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Evanston Police Chief Richard Eddington says city and Northwestern University police will have extra officers on duty for this weekend's homecoming events.

In addition to a sold-out football game against Ohio State at 7 p.m. Saturday at Ryan Field, ESPN is planing live broadcasts from campus — the Friday morning Mike & Mike radio show from Deering Meadow and the Saturday morning GameDay television program from the lakefront. And NU's homecoming parade will be held Friday evening.

It's also homecoming weekend for Evanston Township High School — with a football game Friday night and the homecoming dance on Saturday.

"This isn't the first time Ohio State has come here," Chief Eddington told aldemen Monday night, "but both teams are undefeated so there will be more media attention."

Eddington said NU Police Chief Bruce Lewis plans to have 50 campus police officers on duty from 4 a.m. Saturday to 4 a.m. Sunday.

And Eddington said he's shifting all specialized units on his force to patrol duty for the same period.

In response to a question from Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl, the chief said that more portable toilets have already been requested.

"We'll attempt to cluster them around parking lots and where crowds are moving back and forth," the chief said.

"It's a significant issue for neighborhoods," he added. "There's a downside to having a Porta Potty close to your property — but also an upside."

And he said the department's problem solving team will be deployed into the area of off-campus housing around Fireman's Park, to deal with loud parties and other issues.

"I'm here to assure you and the community that plans are in place" for managing the event, Eddington added. "It should be a fun time for all — a little crowded, but fun."

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