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      Columbia police beef up patrols for busy weekend

      In Capt. Derrick Thornton's 25 years with the Columbia police, he says he can't remember a weekend this busy.

      COLUMBIA (WACH) -- As many as 150,000 visitors are coming to the Capital City for a weekend packed with plans.

      Fifteen separate events over the next three days have Columbia police on high alert.

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      We will be out in all kinds of different ways, says Captain Derrick Thornton of Columbia Police Department.

      According to Thornton, the department is utilizing all of its resources while saturating officers in Five Points, the Vista and around both Benedict and USC's football stadiums as the two schools host games.

      We will also have officers in the neighborhoods, because a lot of times when you have these events the noise and other problems associated with them will spill into the communities, Thornton says.

      Unlike police, the idea of having so many events in one weekend sounds good to many area businesses.

      We are used to being busy, so I think we can handle it, says manager Sam Bowen of Pawley TMs Front Porch.

      Thornton adds that even though the department is increasing its presence well above a normal weekend, it is still no guarantee against crime.

      Will an increased Columbia city police presence this weekend, prompted by 15 events bringing in around 125,000 visitors, cut down on crime in the city's entertainment districts? Vote in our poll below and leave a comment to tell us what you think.