Lexington Police will have new tool for NCAA crowd control this year

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LEXINGTON, Ky (WTVQ)- Police in Lexington are hoping for rain Friday as the Cats take UCLA in the Sweet Sixteen.

That is because it could deter people at home from celebrating a potential win too chaotically, or a loss destructively.

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In 2012 when UK won the championship, chaos turned to mayhem as 15,000 revelers took to the streets. Then, at least one person was shot and dozens were arrested.

Lexington fire officials say they put out more than 40 fires, including a car, several mattresses, couches, and piles of garbage.

That is why police are talking about tournament safety Monday. UK and Lexington police leaders say they are all for celebrating, but they will not tolerate criminal behavior.

As opposed to past years, Lexington police now have body cameras. UK police have over 3,000 cameras of their own around campus.

Both agencies say they will be able to review footage and use it as evidence to prosecute anyone who commits a crime.

“Be responsible. Be a respectful citizen of the community and treat it with respect. Don’t trash the neighborhoods. Don’t turn over cars. Don’t burn anything. Let’s have a good time and celebrate responsibly,” UK Police Chief Joe Monroe said.

Monroe says he will have a large number of officers out working Friday night, including himself.

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Veronica Jean Seltzer joins ABC 36 as Anchor/Reporter. On most weekdays, you will see her reporting the news. VJ hails from a small horse farm outside New York City and most recently comes from South Bend, Indiana where she reported for the CBS and Fox affiliates. VJ holds a Master of Science in Journalism degree from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University. Her passion for journalism runs deep. It began as she studied graffiti as an ancient form of communication in Athens, Greece. While a student journalist in Morocco, she learned her most important journalistic lesson: good stories are about people. VJ loves life in and around Lexington. She feels most at home among horses and a diverse community of fascinating people. She enjoys reporting during the week and on the weekend she strives to bring her neighbors the news that matters most to them. VJ enjoys going to neighborhood events, exploring, horseback riding, skiing, sailing, and good movies. Look for her out and about in the community! VJ invites you to reach out to her with story ideas or just to say hello! Find her on Facebook at Veronica Jean Seltzer ABC 36, tweet her @VJS_ABC36, or email her at VSeltzer@wtvq.com. She looks forward to hearing from you!