Formula 1 weekend security plans revealed
Posted on October 9, 2012 at 6:13 PM
Updated Tuesday, Oct 9 at 6:24 PM
ELROY, Texas -- The eyes of the world will be on Central Texas during Formula 1 weekend Nov. 16 through Nov. 18.
Circuit of the America's is hiring and paying for security at the track site and surrounding roads. However, for those people who aren't coming to the event or going downtown that weekend, Travis County officials say there will be sufficient officers to handle their needs. However, city and county officials say they can't divulge all plans because this is a security operation.
Major Phyllis Clair with Travis County Law Enforcement Bureau says they made the safety of people not going to the track nor heading downtown a very high priority. She says her department has staffed more officers race weekend to deal with emergencies.
"That's officers that will respond to your house if something happens, or a wreck, or any of those number of events. We've also taken pains to make make sure that if we have another major event somewhere in Travis County, or even in Central Texas, that we're not taxing all our resources at COTA," Clair said.
Circuit of the Americas is responsible for security and enforcement around the race site in Elroy. The organization has hired off-duty Travis County officers, as well as officers from other departments for venue and traffic enforcement.
In downtown Austin, plans are in place to accommodate heavy traffic for Fanfest and F1 Rocks. One of the ways the Austin Police Department will deal with an influx of people is by setting up a temporary substation with a command post in the Congress Avenue area between 5th Street and 7th Street.
According to APD Commander William Manno, the police department's four main areas of concern are homeland security, traffic management, public safety and tourism policing.
In addition to normal staffing, APD's plans include an additional 200 officers on streets downtown, a focus around the airport and patrols on roads leading out of downtown.
Visitors are expected to begin arriving Nov.12, the Monday prior the F1 race.