By: Sarah Snyder
When those Friday night lights flip on, it doesn't take any longer than kick-off to get fans excited. Midland ISD police say making sure those fans are safe is their number one priority and this year they're stepping up their stadium patrol.
The crowds of fans are getting bigger each year and now it's taking more officers to make sure your kids are safe at the games.
For the first time this year, they've blocked off separate entrances for junior high and high school students and they've also added a new fence keeping kids from wandering outside the stadium during the game.
"We are going to not allow students to walk around during the game," Chief David Colburn with the Midland ISD Police, said. "We want them to sit and watch the game, that way the adults have easier access to the places they need to go. It's also safer. I'd also like to encourage parents not to drop their kids off at the game. That's extremely important."
One of the big problems for officers is that parents drop their children off at the game and sometimes those crowds get a little out of hand.
"Folks will drop their students off and sometimes not pick them up until 11 or 12:00 at night - way after the game and we have to keep officers here," Chief Colburn said.
Chief Colburn says the biggest issues they find are minors in possession of alcohol and fighting among students.
"We want them to socialize and have a good time but they need to do that in the designated areas so they're just not running around and creating problems for the folks that come and actually want to watch the game," Chief Colburn said.
For the Midland ISD officers, it's all hands on deck. Their 12 officers patrol the stadium alongside 10 Midland city police officers.
"We get together and form a game plan as to where the problem areas might be," Chief Colburn said.