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Police presence increased for first post-shooting Thunder Alley

BY MICHAEL KIMBALL mkimball@opubco.com Published: May 30, 2012
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There will be more police officers in and around Chesapeake Energy Arena and Bricktown, but Thunder Alley should otherwise resemble its regular season form on Thursday night in Oklahoma City for the Thunder's playoff game.

The video board outside the arena won't show a live broadcast of the game, as it did during previous playoff games, including the Thunder's win May 21 that was followed by a shooting in Bricktown. Officials expect that alone will make the crowd much smaller than the 6,000 people who gathered to watch the Thunder close out the Lakers before the shooting nearby, but the police presence will be increased nonetheless.

“We'll have plainclothes officers. We'll have officers in uniform. We'll have officers mixing with the crowd,” said police spokesman Capt. Dexter Nelson, who cited security concerns in declining to say how many extra officers will be on duty. “We'll have officers inside and outside the arena.”

Thunder Alley itself will follow the regular season model: Food vendors, games, activities and other events will end when the game starts, team spokesman Dan Mahoney said. Those events had continued during the watch parties in the playoffs but no longer.

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