Columbia Police helping secure the NCAA tournament by increasing presence

COLUMBIA,SC (WOLO)-The NCAA tournament could be bringing a lot of madness to the capitol city this weekend and city officials say they’re prepared for it.

The court is set for some of the best teams in the country to ball out during March Madness.

“We’re putting forward our best southern hospitality and using this as a platform to promote Columbia to the rest of the world,” Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin said.

Tweny-five thousand people are expected to come to the soda city, so Columbia police are going to double up on security.

“We have officers that will be placed in Harbison,the Vista, Main street, and 5 points, and most of your entertainment areas just to provide an extra layer of security,” Deputy Chief Melron Kelly, with Columbia Police said.

To make sure that you keep yourself safe officers recommend parking in well lit areas and not leaving valuable items in plain sight.

“We have several parking garages in the Columbia downtown area that will be having parking spaces,” Kelly said. “We have several private parking lots that will be having parking spaces as well.”

Law enforcement aren’t the only ones who prepped for march madness. The city has added a few new features as well.

“It’s nothing like having company to get you gushing up, you put on your best clothes and everything else,” Benjamin said. “But there are some lasting significant improvements to our physical plant that will benefit the community from here on out.”

With all eyes on Columbia this weekend, the city hopes the impact will be felt for years to come.

“This is a place that is brimming with excitement and fun and we’re going to have a chance to show it off to the rest of the world,”Benjamin said. “All this hard work is going to pay off.”

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