St. Louis deploying extra officers for busy downtown weekend -

St. Louis deploying extra officers for busy downtown weekend

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Chief Sam Dotson (Credit: KMOV) Chief Sam Dotson (Credit: KMOV)

ST. LOUIS ( -- It's going to be a big weekend in St. Louis with New Year's Eve celebrations and the NHL Winter Classic festivities Saturday and Monday at Busch Stadium.

St. Louis Metro Police Chief Sam Dotson is charged with keeping order over the weekend and he says the city has a lot of practice at this sort of thing.

“The good news is St. Louis is no stranger to big events. So the Winter Classic is a great opportunity for us to show off the city,” Dotson said.

The city is used to handling events like this- notably at Cardinals playoff and World Series games.  Not to mention the All-Star Game, and Blues playoff games.

Chief Dotson will be employing mandatory overtime policies this weekend to make sure there will be a high number of officers on patrol.

But residents won't see all of them.

“Around the stadium, you'll see police officers in uniform. We'll have plainclothes officers- you won't see them - making sure everybody has a safe event,” Dotson said.

The chief says people coming downtown for the games or for parties - have to do their part, too.

“Come early, know where you're going to park, use public transportation and remember: don't bring your gun, because you can't bring your gun inside the venue and I've seen a double digit increase in guns stolen from cars over the last two years and I want to make sure we don't put more guns into the hands of criminals.”

Finally, the chief is imploring New Year's Eve revelers to not take part in the tradition of firing a gun into the air at midnight:

“The senseless act of firing of a gun puts everybody at risk,” he said. “It puts you at risk, it puts the community at risk puts people at your party and our officers at risk.”

The chief encourages anyone who sees or hears anyone firing off a gun on New Year's Eve to call 9-1-1. There will be extra officers on duty to answer those calls.

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