In regard to AthFest Music & Arts Festival this weekend, the Athens-Clarke County Police Department answered a few questions for The Red & Black pertaining to security covering the festival.
Answers below were provided by Lieutenant Aubrey Epps.
The Red & Black - Have you worked AthFest in previous years? If so, can you tell me a little bit about your experience with security at the festival?
Lieutenant Aubrey Epps - Yes. Security at festivals is an ever-evolving process. This year we have taken steps to plan for the events that have been experienced across Europe and the UK. We will have processes in place to address those risk/threat assessments. The intent is to provide for safety while keeping the measures as out of sight as possible.
R&B - Have there been issues in the past that have occurred at AthFest that have led to some preventive measures in place now?
Epps - I can't recall any significant issues, but we are working to have preventive measures in place.
R&B - What kind of extra security measures are put in place for AthFest?
Epps - I will not discuss specific security measures, but we are taking steps to mitigate the potential for pedestrian injury due to vehicle-borne events.
R&B - About how many cops does AthFest weekend require? How does this compare to a football game weekend and to a regular weekend?
Epps - I will not specify the exact number of police officers being used as some are less observable as part of a preventive plan. It is a significant number, but is smaller than a typical football weekend as the affected venue is smaller.
R&B - What is the largest problem you've run into when covering AthFest?
Epps - Parking due to street closures.
R&B - Where is somewhere to park for the festival where there will be no fear of getting a ticket?
Epps - All downtown parking decks are open and any location off of public space. (Parking is also available at meter spots downtown on Sunday, free of charge.)
R&B - Where are individuals who are causing a disturbance taken? (i.e. public intoxication, disorderly conduct, etc.)
Epps - All subjects who are arrested are transported to the Clarke County Jail.
R&B - Any words of wisdom or advice for those planning to attend AthFest?
Epps - Enjoy downtown Athens and respect the pursuits of others attending the many diverse activities that the downtown district has to offer. Be patient and polite. Know your limit on consumption.