VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Virginia Beach Police and city officials brought News 3 behind the scenes at the 2nd police precinct Friday afternoon as they gear up for College Beach Weekend.
They have been planning for the weekendlong event for months.
Police wearing yellow vests could be seen canvassing the Oceanfront on foot, motorcycles and on bikes.
During our behind the scenes tour, they showed us the communication hub and how they monitor what is going on throughout the city and extensive security camera system. They showed us 25 new cameras that were recently installed that monitor what's going on throughout the city.
Two retired police officers were monitoring the screens looking for any suspicious behavior. The chief said safety is of their top priority and protecting the young people who to descend into the city, the businesses, and the local residents.
There is an increased police presence throughout the Oceanfront area.
They expect Saturday to be busier than Friday and say they're treating this just like any other holiday weekend.
It's hard to know how many people will show up for the festivities, but officials have predicted roughly 40,000.
Problems with violence in past years have caused some to be critical of the event.
Last year, thousands signed a petition calling for an end to College Beach Weekend after four people at the Oceanfront were injured from a shooting.
However, it's not a city-sanctioned event, so city officials can't control who shows up.
News 3 spoke to several ODU students who said they were excited to have a fun night and looking forward to hanging out with other college kids.
Students from colleges in New Jersey, South Carolina, Delaware and New York told News 3 they are happy to meet new people and party with their friends.
The city also will be monitoring traffic, and have made changes to traffic flow to help alleviate congestion on the Oceanfront.