University of Minnesota says there will be no riot repeats

8:51 PM, Apr 3, 2012   |    comments
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MINNEAPOLIS - They say history repeats itself. University of Minnesota officials hope that's only half-true. While, they'd love for the Gopher men's hockey team to win another national championship, they don't want to have rioting in the streets, again.

"We have a plan in place and we will have a significant presence. Make no mistake. We are prepared," said Lt. Bruce Jensen with the Minneapolis Police Department.

The last time the men's team won the title it was 2003. Cars were burned, signs torn down, lights destroyed, all in the name of celebration. Police admit they were not prepared for what happened that night but say there will be no repeat if the team wins the title in 2012.

"I've requested mutual aid and have gotten responses from Hennepin, Ramsey and Anoka Counties Sheriff's, and St. Paul Police Department will be part of my team," said University Police Chief Greg Hestness.

Extra police presence will start Thursday and if the Gophers move on, more police will move in. There will be cameras in the area too and officers say they will use video to arrest people them if they're caught committing a crime.

The Dinkytown Neighborhood was hit hardest in the 2003 riots and business owners there say they are grateful police are being proactive this time around.

"Knowing that we have the support of the authorities and things like that will let us all lock our doors that evening and know that things will probably be okay," said Antigoni Sander McCloud, owner of Kafe 421 on 14th Ave. S.E.

The University sent out an email to students Tuesday announcing their expectations about behavior both on and off campus. They also know social media will play a big role, allowing students to connect in a way that wasn't possible nine years ago. But University officials warn, if you get involved, be prepared to pay the price.

"There's really no such thing as going to watch a riot. If you come, and you show up, you're part of the action," said Vice Provost Jerry Rinehart.

The Gophers must first get past Boston College in Tampa this Thursday before they can move on to the national championship game on Saturday.

(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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