Wichita police have been preparing for months to make sure the only madness that happens during the NCAA tournament this week will happen on the court.
While it will be hard to miss the police presence in downtown Wichita during March Madness, "it won't be a full-court press," Deputy Police Chief Troy Livingston said.
You'll see officers on horseback.
You'll see them on motorcycles.
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You'll see them on bicycles
You'll even see them on foot, as well as in patrol cars.
Eight teams will be coming to Wichita to play in the the West and South regionals on Thursday, with winners advancing to games on Saturday.
Authorities are anticipating as many as 25,000 people to crowd into a segment of downtown Wichita at times during the tournament, stretching generally from south of Intrust Bank Arena on north to Old Town.
"It’s not going to be some type of military approach," Livingston said. "But there will be a visible police presence in the area."
Not only will police be watching the crowds, he said, they'll be keeping an eye on parking lots used by tournament attendees.
The Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office will handle security inside the arena.
Garth Brooks concerts 'a very good test run'
The sold-out Garth Brooks concerts in 2015 served as a good blueprint for how to handle the NCAA tournament, Sedgwick County Sheriff's Capt. Mark Pierce said.
Because ticket demand for Brooks was so high, second shows were added on two days. That meant the arena had to handle two sold-out crowds on the same day - which is exactly what will happen with the NCAA tournament, Pierce said.
"It actually was a very good test run" for the NCAA tournament, he said.
With so many people to move out quickly, "we'll be putting more emphasis on using the stairwells" for those who are able, Pierce said.
Fans who have been to Intrust or other major arenas for concerts and games will be familiar with the screening processes, Pierce said. No new measures have been added for the NCAA tournament.
But fans will notice more deputies inside the arena than they normally would.
"Security will be in place" inside the arena, Pierce said. "Lots of it."
Not all of it will be visible to fans.
The Kansas Highway Patrol will assist with traffic control on Kellogg while handling regular patrol duties on I-135.
"We'll be ready to help them as they need it," Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper Chad Crittenden said.
The sense of excitement that comes with the tournament is spreading to law enforcement agencies, too.
"We’re excited to have the tournament come here," Livingston said. "Many of my officers are looking forward to being able to work the venue."
Cameras in Old Town
The 97 security cameras that keep an eye on Old Town will be staffed live on the days of the games "and after the games well into the night," Livingston said.
The cameras are capable of providing such clear images that a name tag can be read from the top of a building, officials have said.
Livingston did not want to go into a lot of detail about security measures, saying only that officials have planned for a wide range of scenarios.
But he did say officials are not expecting unruly crowds during the tournament.
"I don’t think the crowds are going to be there to cause problems," Livingston said. "I think people are down there to have a good time and enjoy the tournament."
Officers working downtown during the tournament will be briefed daily on events so they can answer questions posed by pedestrians.
Wichita police will escort teams as they go to and from Intrust Bank Arena for practices and games, but Livingston said the escorts will be with the normal flow of traffic. They will not be halting other traffic or cutting through intersections against lights to get the teams to their destinations.