Officers work to make Steeplechase safe

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Saturday, March 22nd, 2014

AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW)- A fight broke out and two people were arrested for disorderly conduct, and officials say 10 others were cited for underage drinking.

Even though Steeplechase is a fun party atmosphere, that's the reason why officers are out there. Thousands of people are off to the races. Sidelines crowded with people. A sea of tents and tailgates, floppy hats, and party goers.

"We've had people stop by have a beer with us have a sandwich with us. We're just having a great time," Linsey Yance said.

Aiken County Sheriffs are out in full force working to make sure everyone is safe once the drinks start flowing.

"Just want to make sure that folks are having a good time. We don't want anyone to take away from someone else's enjoyment by being grossly intoxicated," said Captain Eric Abdullah.

They said one thing they're patrolling for is underage drinkers.

So if you're not 21 years old, that booze will get you busted. Officials say they cited several people today. They say they're out walking around and have under cover cops to help.

"They're our eyes and ears for our uniform patrol guys that are out here too," Abdullah said.

Every year, Steve Ryan with Aiken party bus takes 20 people to the race to make sure they get home safely. As the party goes on Ryan expects more riders to hop on the bus.

"At the end of the day we may have some extra folks that we didn't bring in come out with us and our goal is to make sure everyone gets home safe," said Ryan.

"No driving for me at least," said Jeremy Youngblood.

"Everyone is getting home safe tonight," Yance said.

Officers say they're doing community policing. Walking around and talking to people. They say it gets people to open up, and party goers don't mind their presence.

"They've done a great job at keeping everything calm and its enjoyable. That's what its all about its a family event for all of us to have fun with," said Yance.