STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) – While it may be the week of Thanksgiving everywhere else, in Mississippi, it’s Egg Bowl week.
“We fully expect that our fan numbers will be higher,” says Mississippi State Police Chief Vance Rice. “So we plan to have additional officers on stage.”
But with fans from Oxford and Starkville descending at Davis-Wade Stadium, the holiday often leaves local law enforcement short-handed when trying to provide game-day security.
“There are a lot of workers that it takes to run a game day,” the police chief says. “And games on Thanksgiving Day make getting workers a real challenge.”
So to swell their ranks, MSU is offering double time-and-a-half pay to attract as many officers as possible from across the North East Mississippi.
“Working with the athletic department and the university, we were able to raise that to $ 45 an hour,” says Chief Rice.
Chief Rice says they should have more officers than they’ve had all season, with close to 90 percent from outside agencies, including Columbus, Lowndes County, Tupelo, Eupora and more.
“I did speak with the chief from Ole Miss this morning and he was asking for a little additional information to assist with some officers signing up to work,” he says.
Chief Rice says the two main issues they’ll face are traffic…
“Getting 60,000 people through is difficult when they all show up at one time,” he says.
… And medical emergencies.
“The average fan doesn’t even realize how many medical issues we have on the average game day,” Chief Rice says.
MSU PD is currently in the process of making sure all officers are familiar with the campus and know where and when to report.
“Where officers are going to be stationed, what they’re going to be doing and what we need them to do during the game,” the chief explained.
Because regardless of who hoists the Golden Egg Trophy, there’s only one way they want Thursday night to end.
“Come enjoy the game. Make it home safe, ”Chief Rice says. “That’s what we shoot for.”
Chief Rice says there are still a few more open slots left for any other certified officers who would like to sign up to work the Egg Bowl. Officers interested can contact MSU Police at 662-325-5205.