Posted on March 6, 2012 at 11:27 PM
Tuesday, Mar 6 at 11:41 PM
AUSTIN – This year’s SXSW promises to be different from last year, at least when it comes to the way Austin police plan to handle crowds and traffic.
“Everybody knows the traffic gets blocked. There's traffic jams, all kinds of issues like that, so we're going to have officers quickly respond to traffic hot spots and hopefully alleviate some of those traffic problems we had last year,” said Assistant Chief David Carter in an interview.
Carter also said that at least 400 Austin police officers will be working 12-hour shifts for two weeks all over the city.
Also for the first time during SXSW, APD, City of Austin Code Enforcement officers, SXSW officials and EMS will all work together out of a command control center.
Austin police officers working venues off duty will also have to check in with the command center and keep their radios on a particular channel dedicated to SXSW coverage.
When asked about the police presence in other neighborhoods outside of the downtown area, Assistant Chief Carter promised that no neighborhood will be neglected when it comes to police coverage.
“Patrols in the neighborhood are not going to be sacrificed. In other words, what you will see is you'll see officers doubling up. We're going to basically have two officer units that are actually patrolling throughout the entire city,” added Chief Carter.
APD is predicting that 250,000 visitors will descend upon Austin during SXSW 2012 festivities.