The policing of the estimated 13,000 guests for this year’s Roverfest will not be limited to Lorain.
Lorain County law enforcement will be out in force. Officers want to see a good event take place but have a contingency plan in case that doesn’t happen.
“We will be ready to deal with whatever we have to deal with,” said Elyria police Capt. Phil Hammonds, who is coordinating a joint OVI taskforce.
Roverfest, an annual concert series hosted by Cleveland radio show Rover’s Morning Glory, will be staged today at Black River Landing in Lorain and is expected to bring in more people than Lorain has seen in recent history for a one-day event.
Tickets for the all-day concert are sold out. Festivities start at 1 p.m. and go until 11 p.m. with major artists P.O.D., T-Pain, Trapt and Lil Jon performing.
The young adult crowd the event caters to, coupled with a popular beer manufacturing serving as a key sponsor, all but guarantees that alcohol will be present. Drunken-driving concerns are high among law enforcement.
“We want people to know if you drink and drive Saturday, it is not a good idea because we will be out,” said Hammonds, the department’s top crash scene reconstruction expert. Last August, Hammond coordinated an OVI checkpoint in memory of Andrew “A.J.” Vincent, who was killed by a drunken driver in 2010.
Lorain police Capt. Roger Watkins said about 50 officers will provide security with other departments offering support,
Elyria police are working with the Ohio Highway Patrol, which is putting more troopers into play, and Sheffield police. A shuttle bus will run from Quaker Steak & Lube on Detroit Road to Black River Landing. The restaurant will also serve as the location for the official after-party for the festivities.
Hammonds said officers will be out, the prisoner transport van will be available if needed and officers will be able to administer Breathalyzer tests at a command post to be set up near Interstate 90 and state Route 57.
There will be no actual checkpoint location, but blitz patrols will be used to have as much of an effect as possible.
“Basically, you will see a lot of law enforcement in the northern part of the city and county from North Abbe Road, state Route 254, I-90 and everywhere between Black River Landing and the hotels in the city,” Hammonds said. “People coming to the city should be responsible, think about what they are doing, make some plans and find someone to be a designated driver.”