Some police agencies across metro Phoenix will boost their patrol presence Sunday looking for post-Super Bowl drunken driving.
“Like everybody else, we want the Cardinals to succeed and get their ring,” said Scottsdale police spokesman Mark Clark. “But (with) any celebrations, we want people to do it within the line and keep the peace.”
Scottsdale police plan to have seven officers working as part of a DUI task force. The city also has to account for crowds attending the FBR Open golf tournament.
In Tempe, extra officers looking for anyone driving impaired will also watch for signs of unruly behavior. Sgt. Steve Carbajal, who declined to give any numbers, said law enforcement would be heightened around hot gathering spots such as Mill Avenue and Tempe Market Place.
With the Cardinals’ involvement, Carbajal said there will definitely be more police than for a normal Super Bowl weekend.
“It’s a little more ramped up because we expect hometown fans to get celebratory in the occasion the Cardinals win the game,” Carbajal said. “Our primary concern is, win or lose, what are fans going to do and being prepared for those 'activities’ — for lack of a better phrase.”
A Mesa police spokesman said officers would be patrolling Mesa and assisting with DUI enforcement in Tempe.
In Glendale, home of the Cards’ stadium, there will be eight more officers stationed near Westgate City Center, a popular restaurant-retail complex.
The city had hoped to hold a viewing party, but the NFL nixed that idea. The league generally prohibits public viewing parties, even in a competing team’s host stadium.
If there is unlawful revelry, Glendale police have a “civil disobedience unit” they can call on.
“That’s always available ... but not just because it’s a special game day,” said Glendale police spokeswoman Tara Simonson. “But they’re not on call that day, it’s not staffed. They’re not waiting around for something to happen.”
A Phoenix police spokesman said police had no special plans.
Sunday would be business as usual.
In Arizona history, hostile post-game incidents have been rare. Two people were arrested in 2001 after a 500-plus crowd vandalized signs and set small fires following the Arizona Diamondbacks’ victory in the World Series.
That year, a riot also broke out in Tucson after the University of Arizona lost the NCAA championship to Duke University. Windows were shattered and fires ignited within a two- to three-block area.
A majority of Cardinals fans don’t see Phoenix or its surrounding suburbs falling into chaos.
“I think the people here are a little classier than that,” said Sue Henderson, a Cardinals season ticket-holder from Chandler. “I can’t see us rioting and tearing apart the town like they do in some places. I can’t see us being out of control.”
Nancy Hendley, a longtime Cards fan in Cave Creek, said it would be hard to predict behavior with transplanted residents making up much of the Phoenix population.
“This is such a transient town. The original fan base for the Cardinals isn’t nearly as large as some of these other (NFL) teams,” Hendley said.
Whether people feel compelled to clap or cry afterward,
Hendley hopes they continue to wave the red flag.
“I’m hoping this season a lot of people that were kind of wavering would like to support them and believe in them,” Hendley said. “Maybe they’ll stay on the bandwagon.”