Champaign police prepare for Unofficial party


CHAMPAIGN (AP) -- Champaign police say they're gearing up for the annual Unofficial St. Patrick's Day celebration.


The News-Gazette reports law enforcement officials are preparing up for this weekend's festivities that are expected to draw thousands of students for a day of drinking.


Jim Clark is a lieutenant in the Champaign police department.


He says authorities are predicting large crowds, despite efforts in previous years to curtail underage drinking and violence.


Last year, authorities knocked on 4,000 doors to distribute information about how to stay safe during the festivities. Still, there were hundreds of arrests, mostly for underage drinking.

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