AUSTIN (KXAN) - Austin police will employ a new staffing strategy for this year's South By Southwest festival.
The staffing plan called a modified "alpha bravo" will split half the force between 12-hour shifts from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. That schedule will apply to half the department for the first part of SXSW and then the other half for the remainder.
It means a quarter of the entire department will be available to respond at any given time during SXSW.
"We are better positioned this year than we ever have been before," said Assistant Chief David Carter.
Up until this year, APD supplemented downtown patrol with additional off-duty officers for SXSW. However, crowding issues and rioting happened at some music events.
"It was a successful plan that worked in years past, but last year it was not so effective," said Carter, who estimates as many as 400 officers will be available to respond to any call, anywhere in the city during SXSW.
Carter also thinks "alpha bravo" will be used for future special events, specifically a Formula One race, where crowding could be an issue.
The first F1 trials and race is set for Nov. 16 to Nov. 18.
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