TPD Steps Up Security As March Madness, St. Patrick's Day Collide

Thursday, March 16th 2017, 6:05 pm
By: Amy Slanchik

Tulsa police are getting ready for a busy weekend downtown with March Madness and St. Patrick's Day happening at the same time.

In Tulsa’s Blue Dome District, Arnie's Bar is celebrating its 61st St. Patrick's Day.

"It's been the same - we don't really change much, it's just that Arnie's is kinda just a staple," said co-owner Chris Armstrong.

The only thing changing this year is that there will be some basketball with the beer, with big crowds downtown for March Madness at the BOK Center.

Armstrong said, "It's gonna be a perfect storm. All the people that are coming down for NCAA and a lot of the picks were from teams that are close enough that are in driving distance. So, hopefully, they'll come support their team and come celebrate St. Patrick's Day with us."

Sergeant Bryan Bryden said, "It's a big, perfect storm. We have a lot of things going on, we're gonna have a lot of people downtown."

He said some officers will be dedicated to the BOK Center for extra security; others will work longer shifts than usual, patrolling downtown.

"Looking in parking lots, checking cars, making sure everybody's staying safe," the sergeant said.

Bryden said part of keeping everyone safe includes keeping people who have had too much to drink, off the roads.

Police arrested five or fewer people for DWI on St. Patrick's Day in each of the past three years - public intoxication on the holiday, less than 10 - and he hopes the numbers stay low.

"Have a good time, enjoy yourselves with the weekend, but be responsible and get somebody else to take you home that hasn't been drinking," he said.

Armstrong reinforced that, saying, "there's really no reason for you to drink and drive."

There will be free shuttle rides on game days going from the BOK to Cherry Street, the Brady Arts District, and the Blue Dome District.