Amherst prepares for influx of visitors for weekend events at the University of Massachusetts
AMHERST — As April winds down, Amherst police and fire officials are crediting increased staffing, and often cool weather, for contributing to a spring in which there have been no major disturbances.
For one final weekend, Amherst police will be joined on patrol by University of Massachusetts police and between eight and 10 state police officers, said Amherst Police Chief Scott Livingstone.
“All hands will be on deck,” Livingstone said. “We’ll be prepared for anything that comes our way.”
Livingstone said he is not yet ready to declare the spring a success, but hopes that the messages about responsible partying may be getting to students.
“We’re planning for the worst and hoping for the best,” Livingstone said.
While many college students will be in town the first weekend in May, Livingstone said the weekend before graduation is not usually one in which large-scale problems occur.
For the fire department, the big worry for this weekend is the influx of alumni for events on the UMass campus, including the inauguration of chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy, as well as an estimated 3,000 people, including players and their families, who will be in town for Saturday’s annual Supercuts SoccerFest
Fire Chief Walter “Tim” Nelson said ambulance activity is bound to increase, in part because the population in town is swelling and the soccer players may suffer injuries while playing.
“It’s not just the players, they bring their families,” Nelson said.
The SoccerFest is serving as a fundraiser for victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.
Kole Huang, a student in the Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management at the Isenberg School of Management, said 5 percent of both the registration fees and the overall food revenue will be donated to the One Fund Foundation.
SoccerFest begins Saturday at 8 a.m. and runs until 4 p.m. in the fields near McGuirk Stadium.