Lawrence commissioners unanimously approve ban on rooftop access - KCTV5

Lawrence commissioners unanimously approve ban on rooftop access during Jayhawks' tourney run

Updated:
Kimo Hood/KCTV5 Kimo Hood/KCTV5
LAWRENCE, KS (KCTV) -

As the Kansas Jayhawks head to the Sweet 16, the City of Lawrence is asking fans cheering them on to do so from the ground. 

Lawrence mayor Stuart Boley said local police requested to ban fans from downtown rooftops during the tournament. 

Officials say it's a matter of keeping people safe. 

"This also has to do with the safety of folks who are on the ground because. There's also a possibility of things getting thrown off rooftops," Boley said. 

Rooftop access will be not permitted on Massachusetts Street from Sixth Street to 11th Street during this weekend's game (or games), along with Final Four weekend next week should KU advance. 

Jail time and a fine up to $1,000 is possible if the ban is violated.

Full ordinance from the city's Website:

In anticipation of the University of Kansas Men’s basketball team’s success in the NCAA tournament, the Lawrence, Kansas Police Department recommends a temporary prohibition of access to roof tops along Massachusetts Street during the Elite 8 and Final Four Weekends. The attached ordinance makes it illegal to allow access to roof tops along Massachusetts Street, between the north edge of 6th Street and the south edge of North Park Street, from noon on Saturday, March 24th through 6:00 a.m. on Monday, March 26, 2018. The ban resumes at noon on Saturday, March 31st through 6:00 a.m. Tuesday, April 3, 2018. Thereafter the prohibition expires. The penalty for violating this Ordinance is provided for under City of Lawrence, Kansas Code Section 1-112, which provides a general penalty ranging from a fine between $1-$1,000 and a jail term not to exceed 180 days, or both a fine and jail time.

The Police Department has successfully managed extremely large crowds celebrating the KU Men’s basketball team’s tournament successes in the past. This ordinance, however, will greatly improve the safety of our citizens and our police officers. 

Each commissioner voted in favor of the new ordinance.

"I think its kind of a sign of where we are at in today's society, unfortunately, that we need to protect the public to an extent possible without invading on private rights and this is probably the closest we can get to doing that," commissioner Lisa Larsen said.

On Wednesday, police plan to contact downtown businesses, making sure they don't use glass bottles during the Elite 8 games if the Jayhawks advance to that round of the tournament.

"We want everyone to have a very enjoyable final 16, Elite 8, Final 4," a Lawrence police officer said. "All those things that people like to party but we have to make sure that we are doing what we can for public safety and to keep people safe."

Kansas faces Clemson University at 6:07 p.m. on Friday in Omaha, NE.

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