AUSTIN (KXAN) - As the curtain closes on the initial Formula One U.S. Grand Prix weekend in Austin, city leaders and law enforcement officials say it came and went without a significant crisis.
"It has been pleasant," said Commander Troy Gay with Austin Police Department on Sunday afternoon. "I do not want to say it was uneventful because we still have one night to go, but we have been very pleased with the crowds we have seen downtown."
Officers from across the city, county and state combined with some federal resources for one of the largest collaborative law enforcement efforts in central Texas history.
Early reviews suggest months of planning paid off.
"It was executed very well," said Gay.
Five command centers were set up across the area, including downtown, at the airport, and at the Circuit of The Americas track, to help keep crowds under control.
Austin City Manager Marc Ott took time Sunday evening to thank workers at the Emergency Operations Center in East Austin for their work and told them that Austin was receiving praise from many international guests, including a British ambassador.
There were approximately 580 people taken to magistrate court on Saturday night, but Austin Police Department said that number is not a significant increase from a normal weekend.
In the months leading up to the event, Chief Art Acevedo urged officers and citizens to greet visitors kindly, especially those from different cultures.
Gay said officers with experience working downtown during big events had good things to say about the Formula 1 crowd.
"They were pleasantly surprised. It was very noticeable that the crowd was respectful," he said.
As for next year, Gay does not expect much to change when it comes to handling the festivities.
"If something works, then don't break it. We will debrief and look at things we can improve but this is a good start to a good beginning."
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