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Week after shooting outside Duval high school football game what is being done to ensure safety?

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Duval students and families are preparing to return to the stands for high school football this evening. The return to football comes a week after a shooting occurred outside a game last Friday night.

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According to Duval County Public Schools, there aren’t any new protocols being enacted. But they say they are reinforcing the protocols already in place.

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DCPS police say those protocols helped prevent a tragedy last Friday night.

Video captured the chaos that erupted last Friday. A gunman opened fire on a crowd exiting the football game between Ribault and First Coast high schools after the matchup was shut down early due to fighting.

The incident has raised concerns about safety at the games.

DCPS told Action News Jax in an emailed statement there aren’t plans to increase security at games this evening, but it did reinforce the protocols already in place.

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Those protocols included detection systems screening all people attending games for firearms and other weapons. It also requires attendees to remain in the stands unless they’re entering or exiting the stadium, in line for concessions or using the restroom.

There’s also a strict, no re-entry policy in place.

Additionally, gathering and socializing in the parking lot or sitting in cars before or after the game is prohibited.

DCPS Chief of Police Gregory Burton credited those protocols with the successful response last week.

“Based on information gathered, a plan was put in place. And quite frankly based on that plan, we probably prevented a more tragic event from occurring,” Burton said.

Burton told Action News Jax earlier this week, that police evaluate potential threats prior to each game and set the level of security accordingly.

READ: What to know before you go: Game day for the Jacksonville Jaguars

He emphasized for students and parents to speak out if they have any reason to suspect three could be problems during a game.

“We know that information is the first line of defense to protect our children and to protect our students,” Burton said. “And we’re gonna do that at every game moving forward.”

Parents are crossing their fingers they won’t see a repeat of last week’s violence this evening.

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Kick-off between Ribault and Sandalwood is at 6:30 p.m.

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