MEMPHIS, Tenn. — On Saturday, around 10,000 people are expected to be on Beale Street, and both the Memphis Police Department and the Downtown Memphis Commission say they have a plan to keep everyone safe.
MPD has announced multiple road closures starting Saturday at 6 p.m. in the downtown area.
The Downtown Commission says it will have between 40 to 50 licensed security officers on the street checking IDs and wanding everyone that comes on Beale Street starting around 9 p.m.
“We have additional overhead lighting on the streets right now to try to make people feel as safe as possible,” said Jon Shivers with the Downtown Memphis Commission.
As for police presence, there will be over 100 officers in a five-mile radius of Beale Street, along with other first responders, according to MPD.
Colonel Stephen Chandler of the Memphis Police Department says in addition to uniform patrolmen, they will have specialized units from the organized crime division.
“We’ll have help from the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department. We’ll have traffic division. We’ll have police service technicians downtown to assist with traffic control, and we’ll also have the Memphis Fire Department playing a hand,” said Chandler.
Colonel Chandler says the department will also be blocking off roads to control the crowds. With theft at an all-time high, he says officers will be patrolling to keep both life and property safe.
“We have seen an uptick in motor vehicle theft, but I encourage people to come downtown. We are one of the safest zip codes in the city,” said Chandler.
Saturday night, it will be free to get on Beale Street. However, plan to get here early to go through the security checkpoint.
Those in attendance can expect a 50-foot tower, a grand ball rising and fireworks at midnight.