Behind the scenes: F1 security

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by JESSICA HOLLOWAY & photojournalist JOHN FISHER / KVUE News

kvue.com

Posted on November 9, 2012 at 7:27 PM

Updated Friday, Nov 9 at 7:41 PM

AUSTIN -- With F1 just a week away, Austin police are ramping up, preparing for anything and everything related to crowds, security and emergency response.

"We could have as many as 300,000 people come in," said Assistant Police Chief David Carter.

He spent the day Friday surveing the city, getting a feel for the layout and where to put boots on the ground.

"We put a lot of time and energy into this. We're committed to make sure this is a safe event," said Carter.

An entire APD unit has been assigned to create a blueprint for success while the race is in town.

"We're gonna have a lot of additional officers in the downtown area. Homeland security, emergency traffic management, crowd management, basic policing. Those four concepts are the underpinnings of our operational plan," said Carter.

Sgt. Jeff Crawford and his team met on Congress and 5th Street Friday with Circuit of the Americas and city leaders to finalize street closures downtown. They're also working to gather intelligence about criminals who may be planning to break into hotels or cars during the race week.

"Everybody from our detective units, investigative units, to organized crime, all of our units are looking for organized crime that might be coming into town," said Carter.

The APD helicopter will monitor traffic from the air. No one will be able to drive from 2nd to 5th Street and from Lavaca to Brazos.

APD is also creating a virtual sector called George West and George East, that way they'll have double the officers and a second radio channel.

"We've gone through a whole variety of contigencies, in other words, what kind of things might happen and how will we respond to it," said Carter. 

Chief Carter says the goal is to reduce the effect the race will have on Austinites both through traffic or if you need to call 911.

"Patrol will not be impacted. They'll be fully staffed so we don't interfere with any calls to service," said Carter. 

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