LAWRENCE, Kan. — In the midst of Sunday’s Elite Eight celebration, University of Kansas junior Lauren Lanz caught a candid moment of a Lawrence police officer giving high-fives to people celebrating.
“I thought this was priceless. This is awesome. So I wanted to capture the moment,” Lanz told 41 Action News Thursday.
The three-second clip on Twitter has gone viral.
“Cause you would kind of think that college students and police officers are not necessarily two groups that would mesh well but I think that it’s awesome that they’re able to do that and bring the community even closer together,” Lanz said.
Lawrence police agree.
“If we can stand out here and high-five people, that’s great. That’s a whole lot better than taking reports for damaged property,” Officer Drew Fennelly, with Lawrence PD said.
In that spirit, Fennelly and his partner spent Thursday evening stopping by bars and restaurants along Massachusetts Street reminding business owners about the special ordinances in place this weekend.
Come Saturday for the Final Four game, folks won’t be allowed on rooftops, bars and restaurants won’t be able to serve any drinks in glasses and for the first time ever Massachusetts Street will be shut down.
“We’re not trying to stop anyone from conducting their business,” Fennelly said. “It really is just to make sure that everyone downtown stays safe.”
At Quinton’s, they appreciate Lawrence PD’s gesture of community outreach.
“The police being really reasonable, fair, level-headed all the time, I think that really helps,” Tate Bremenkamp, a bartender and manager at Quinton’s said.
Following Sunday’s celebration, no one got a ticket or was arrested. Police hope that’ll be the case this Saturday.
“We know what we expect of them, they know how to celebrate safely and how to celebrate appropriately,” Officer Fennelly said.
“It kind of reinforces me as an out-of-state person coming to Lawrence for that community feel that everyone talks about that it’s absolutely true,” Lanz said.