Security Tight on Beale Street for NYE

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(Memphis) Tens of thousands of people are on their way to Downtown Memphis for tonight’s New Year’s Eve celebrations.

The Memphis Police Department is upping its security detail downtown to make sure security is on the up and up and everyone stays safe.

Last year over 25,000 people filled these streets for the guitar drop.

They are expecting a similar crowd this year, and the Memphis Police Department says you better be ready to follow the law, because they’re not messing around when it comes to keeping the street safe tonight.

Beale Street is the number one tourist attraction in Tennessee.

But to keep the people coming, and keep the money flowing into businesses here people must feel safe, especially when it comes to big crowds like New Year’s Eve.

Ty Agee with the Beale Street Merchants association says it’s important to keep crime off of Beale so people feel comfortable to come here.

“I think security in certain times down here is necessary on big events like this.  But we didn’t have security last night and everything went off without a hitch and there was a lot a lot of people,” said Agee.

Agee says the street will be barricaded and people will have to go through one of five security check points where they will show ID and get wanded down for weapons.

People underage must be accompanied by an adult after 11 or they will not be let onto the street. 

Memphis Police are also preparing. 

The Sky cops are being lifted into the air for surveillance and paddy wagons are on standby for anyone looking to break the law.

MPD released a statement saying “Memphis Police Department would like citizens and visitors to Memphis to be reminded that when consuming alcoholic beverages, everyone should be responsible and have a plan of action, like a designated driver or the phone number to a cab service. In addition to Beale Street, our DUI Unit will be patrolling throughout Memphis.”

They didn’t say how many additional officers would be patrolling the area but say the number is adequate. 

Russell Claghorn came to Memphis the last time Tulsa was in the Liberty Bowl, and he says Memphis Police earned his trust then so he feels safe now.

“The last time we were here we didn’t have any trouble.  I wasn’t afraid at all,” said Claghorn.

The Memphis Police Department is encouraging people to travel in groups, and make sure you park in an official parking lot if you head down here. 

They say the lot attendants will have ID to prove they are a legitimate company.