Lexington Police prepare for UK's 'Sweet 16' tournament game cel - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Lexington Police prepare for UK's 'Sweet 16' tournament game celebration

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UK students took to the streets after the 'Cats won the 2012 NCAA Championship. UK students took to the streets after the 'Cats won the 2012 NCAA Championship.
Lexington Police are preparing for a UK victory in the NCAA tournament by  warning fans to get flammable items off the streets. Lexington Police are preparing for a UK victory in the NCAA tournament by warning fans to get flammable items off the streets.
Lexington Police are preparing for a UK victory in the NCAA tournament by  warning fans to get flammable items off the streets. Lexington Police are preparing for a UK victory in the NCAA tournament by warning fans to get flammable items off the streets.
UK students took to the streets after the 'Cats won the 2012 NCAA Championship. UK students took to the streets after the 'Cats won the 2012 NCAA Championship.
UK students took to the streets after the 'Cats won the 2012 NCAA Championship. UK students took to the streets after the 'Cats won the 2012 NCAA Championship.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WDRB) -- Lexington Police are preparing for a Big Blue victory in the NCAA tournament by removing items from streets that could be set on fire.

In past years when UK has played in the NCAA Tournament, couches have gone up in flames for celebration of a win or for grief of a loss. After a win in the 2012 Final Four over Louisville, a car was even burned on State Street.

So officers are making the rounds before the Wildcats' Sweet 16 game against Kansas State on Thursday in Atlanta. Houses around the UK campus are seeing notices on their doors warning them to remove trash and indoor furniture from outside their houses before the game.

Code Enforcement officers will be going around those neighborhoods every day, according to Lexington Police Chief Lawrence Weathers. 

"We go out and try to meet them, try to advise them of our plans in advance and let them know just what the boundaries are," he said. "We let them know we're not going to interfere with them celebrating, but if things get out of hand, we are going to be able to take action."

Weathers said rowdy fans can expect to see more police officers in the area. But some students call the victory party in the streets a tradition. 

UK junior Camron Savage said he received a notice for what he calls "couch season."  

"They told us we needed to remove broken fences, because, obviously, those are flammable," he said. "Our friends live next door, and they had a couch out front, and they said they need to remove that, because that's a big thing. You know it's couch season."

But this isn't the first celebration for Lexington Police, who have taken notes over the years of wins and losses. 

"As a police office,r it's a lot of fun to partake in the celebration, but at the same time, we learned a lot of lessons from it," Maj. Nathan Brown said. "So from that point, we have created a bunch of partnerships to make sure we can help people celebrate responsibly."

But Savage said the party will only get bigger with each game the Wildcats get to play. 

"Usually it's the whole street, really crowded, barely able to move, stuff getting thrown around," he said. "It's obviously dangerous out there."

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