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UFPD prepares for Michelle Obama visit; no parking restrictions expected

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With First Lady Michelle Obama scheduled to speak at the University of Florida on Monday, many people are wondering how the event will affect things on campus.

Maj. Brad Barber, assistant director for the University of Florida Police Department, said safety comes first, and the visit will warrant a need to communicate with a variety of law enforcement officials.

“We have been working with local, state, and federal law enforcement personnel to again ensure the visit of the First Lady is conducted in a safe environment,” he said.

Barber said the extra security precautions are nothing new to UFPD officers.

“We have conducted this type of operation many times in the past,” he said. “We have plans that are in place for such an event and simply take those plans and move them forward as the date becomes available and the event occurs.”

The event’s effect on parking has raised some concerns for people who want to see the First Lady speak.

Barber said there is no parking restrictions that day although traffic will heavier than normal.

He added that police will monitor the traffic before and after the event as well as the area around the Stephen O’Connell Center.

“There may be some delays given obviously of the number of individuals who may be attending the event and ask the public to understand that,” Barber said.

Barber said parking restrictions for the event have not been lifted, but people who are attending will be able to use the North Lawn for additional parking.

“That is the only location at this time that’s been made available for additional parking,” he said. “Beyond that, we encourage the public, if they wish to attend this event, to arrive early and use public transportation.”

Chris Alcantara edited this story online.

About Ethan Magoc

Ethan is a journalist at WUFT News. He's a Pennsylvania native who found a home reporting Florida's stories. Reach him by emailing emagoc@wuft.org or calling 352-294-1525.

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