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'There will be plenty of us,' Vancouver police say ahead of Game 5

VPD: "We are very prepared for tonight."

Vancouver police are increasing the number of officers working in the downtown core for Game 5 in anticipation of a large number of people coming to the area.  

The Vancouver Canucks lead the series 3-1 against the Nashville Predators on Tuesday night in round one of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Canucks are looking to advance to round two and eliminate the Predators at home. 

Const. Tania Visintin says extra officers will be inside the venue, outside and throughout the downtown core.

“There will be plenty of us wearing our reflective vests, officers on bicycles, on horse, on foot, we will have our traffic control out as well as our liquor enforcement coordinator,” says Visintin. “We are very prepared for tonight.” 

During the previous home games, police have been pleased with the crowd dynamics. 

"Game 1 there were some issues; we had concerns about the amount of open alcohol that was going on around the arena,” says Visintin. “That was a lot better for Game 2 and we are hoping that continues tonight."

Police are hopeful the celebration will be kept family-friendly.

“If you see one of our officers, please come by and say hello,” she says. 

When asked about whether or not Vancouver police supports a public viewing area for round two, Visintin explains that private conversations are taking place. 

“We are in consultation with various stakeholders, which includes our partners at the city, other policing agencies and the Canucks themselves,” she says. “Conversations are being had as to what to do at each game. We are taking it game by game."

Mayor Ken Sim told reporters on April 25 that there would be “more to come” on whether sites will be activated. At the same time, he referred to the riots of 1994 and 2011, where alcohol-fuelled mayhem ensued in the streets after Canucks’ losses.

“Personally, I would love to throw a party right now, but we have to be responsible,” said Sim, who wore his Canucks jersey to council meetings last week and raised the Canucks’ flag at city hall.