Some of the Rome police officers stationed at Rome Free Academy varsity home football games will be redeployed to provide more assistance near the RFA student section including the area behind the bleachers, Mayor Jacqueline M. Izzo said today.
Izzo said she spoke with school district Superintendent Peter C. Blake, and also addressed the matter with Police Chief Kevin C. Beach and Deputy Police Chief Kevin M. Simons.
The city will “redeploy some of the personnel who work the game to the student area behind the bleachers” to seek “a little bit better security” there, Izzo said. Police generally patrol the overall RFA Stadium area during games, and will “pay a little more attention to the area behind the student section,” she added.
Izzo cited wanting “the tradition to continue...students sitting behind the team” at the games. She said the city’s steps are aimed at helping to provide a safe environment and help “bring anxiety levels down” a bit.
In a recent school district administrative decision, the RFA students were to be moved across the field to RFA Stadium’s main grandstand as part of district efforts for better overall security and
management of the facility.
But it was protested by several students, parents and alumni, and the decision was reversed Monday afternoon after district officials met with some RFA student leaders; officials emphasized the importance for student leaders to help with student behavior in the separate seating section.
Blake said today “we are thankful that we have a great relationship with City Hall and that they are able to assist with some of the grounds that are not well lit, away from the game itself, and the surrounding property area that is not school property.”
The city “wanted to step in and help,” said Izzo. The effort is to help enable “everybody be seated where they want to be during the game,” and it hopefully will be “a great experience,” she commented.
RFA’s varsity football home opener is Friday at 7 p.m. at the stadium against Cicero-North Syracuse.