Thousands of people packed into the Clovis Rodeo grounds to start the weekend. For law enforcement, Clovis Rodeo crowds pose some of the biggest challenges they’ll face all year. There are dozens of officers both inside and outside the rodeo grounds. Their goal is to crack down on alcohol related issues, fights, and to keep Clovis roads safe.
“It’s the first rodeo performance. We are a gold tour rodeo. One of only 8 across the country,” said Mark Thompson of the Clovis Rodeo Association about the event Friday night.
The Clovis Rodeo, the city’s signature event for more than a century. With top tier rodeo action the crowds are only getting bigger. Managing 45,000 people over the weekend Clovis Police officers say keeping the rodeo safe starts from the moment people walk in.
“We’re not allowing any gang colors, or any gangs into the rodeo grounds. We are looking for underage drinking. We actually have undercover officers from Alcohol Beverage Control,” said Corporal Curtis Shurtliff of the Clovis Police Department.
14 uniformed officers and roughly 40 security staff have eyes on the action. Underage drinking has been an issue.
“They arrested six unlucky juveniles last night and we expect to make more arrests today,” said Shurtliff.
With alcohol sales surging, officers patrolling the roads near Old Town Clovis say it’s rewarding to see people being responsible.
“I saw more people walking and I saw more Ubers downtown which was very surprising,” said Officer Mark Bradford of the Clovis Police Department.
But as the beer sales flourish this weekend, officers expect drunk drivers.
“Guaranteed. We will get somebody the rest of the weekend,” said Officer Bradford.
And plan to handle any problems at the rodeo, remaining visible.
“This is a family event and we are here to keep it safe. This is the safest city to raise your family and we’re not going to waiver from that,” said Shurtliff.
Once the rodeo events end officers will be walking the streets of Old Town Clovis to make sure businesses and people are safe. This is a huge weekend for Clovis bringing in close to $6 Million in economic impact.