CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Morgantown Chief of Police Ed Preston wouldn't provide details Wednesday of his department's plan to control fan reactions ahead of Saturday's football game against Texas Tech University.
He only promised his officers would be ready to prevent mayhem similar to what was reported last week after West Virginia University defeated the University of Texas. Police said about a thousand people took to the streets in the Sunnyside area of Morgantown and some started fires, destroyed property and threw objects at officers.
Preston said revealing how his department would preempt rioting fans would create a "confrontational atmosphere" this Saturday.
"It's just creating a situation when everyone knows what you're going to do and they change what they're planning on doing," he said.
After that game, approximately 50 officers wore protective helmets, gas masks, and body armor and carried crowd-control batons as they tried to regain control. Officers used pepper spray and CS cans to disperse the crowds.
His department has consulted with a crowd control instructor to learn how to deal with these situations, Preston said. He did not identify the instructor.
"I'm not going to have him barraged by questions or targeted by the community," he said.
Preston said he met with firefighters, city leaders and WVU officials Tuesday. The group developed short-term plans and discussed "other longer term solutions to the fires and celebratory riots that have plagued the town for years," according to a WVU news release.