Friday night law enforcement will tackle more than just a longstanding football rivalry between Millington and Mumford High Schools. Officers will be focused on school safety.
Glenn Alfrey has two sons at Millington High, one in 9th grade, another in 11th.
Alfrey agrees it is no secret Millington versus Mumford calls for big security. "It's a fun rivalry. If a few students come in and they decide to disrupt that, I personally think security should take care of it," he said.
So while crews prime the football field, law enforcement is doing some priming of its own. "We'll have officers at each gate, coming and going out. We'll have officers inside the stands," said Shelby County Sheriff's Department Inspector, Mark S. Dunbar.
Law enforcement is not only keeping tabs on fallout from the rivalry, School Resource Officer Jonathan Page says gang prevention is part of the game plan. "We get under the radar with 'em and try to find out what's going on word of mouth," he said.
One of his goals: to prevent students at Millington from being recruited by gangs outside the school.
Law enforcement have identified Fam, Bloods, Crips and other variations of those gangs in the Millington area. With that, deputies will be highly visible at the Millington/Mumford game and they want the community to help out. "If the parents and students see a situation starting, we can intervene," said Page.
Shelby County will have about 30 officers scouring the campus during the game, in uniform and in plain clothes. Plus, Mumford and Millington are sending in their own officers. The coach says it helps everyone involved. "We want everybody to feel safe and not have to worry about anything but football," said Millington Trojans Coach Hank Hawkins.