If you’re drunk in Lawrence, beware of increased police presence

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LAWRENCE, Kan. --  Lawrence police are stepping up efforts to curb drunken behavior and help protect individuals who may be too intoxicated to realize they're a target to would be criminals.

Classes begins at The University of Kansas on August 26, and some students are already back, partying before the semester starts. Sgt. Trent McKinley of the Lawrence Police Department says the next couple of months are the rowdiest and that's why there will be a group of officers focusing on specific areas around Massachusetts Street.

"We are seeing a disturbing number of incidents, often times involving alcohol, traffic collisions, we are also seeing robberies, sexual assaults," said Sgt. McKinley.

Wednesday through Saturday, 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. will be the targeted zones for officers.

"Situations where there's violence, there's injury and intoxication," said Sgt. McKinley.

Joe Shoemaker and Jodan Beber are both students at KU. The two students say they see it all the time, fights outside bars.

"I've seen quite a bit of fights yeah, when the bars and the parties are all done, everyone collides and bad things happen," said Shoemaker.

Beber says he'll be happy to see more officers out on patrol.

"We definitely need it here in Lawrence, especially Mass Street, there's always some trouble around here," said Beber.

This semester a group of officers will dedicate their time not only looking out for violence but hoping to stop it before it happens.

"The individuals that are leaving that are impaired and maybe drive away in a vehicle or try to walk them by themselves and potentially put themselves in a position where they could become a victim," said Sgt. McKinley.

Patrols will include, officers on foot, bicycles, and cruisers.

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