More APD officers to patrol downtown during SXSW

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The city of Austin handed out more permits for South by Southwest and other spring events this year than any year before.

The city signed off on a total of 209 event applications this year, compared to 201 last year.

As always, since SXSW draws a massive crowd to the downtown area, Austin police will have extra officers in the downtown corridor and a special response team made up of 120 officers dedicated just to Sixth Street from Wednesday, March 14 through Saturday, March 17. Even with a heavy police presence, Austin Police Department Asst. Chief Justin Newsom is encouraging attendees to keep their eyes open for any suspicious activity.

“Despite all these plans, no better plan than good vigilance by people out on the streets,” says Newsom. During the festival, all 911 calls from the downtown area will be geofenced so calls will go to Central Command and not the main dispatch center.

The area around Fifth Street and Congress Avenue will be cordoned off as a patient collection point for Austin-Travis County EMS.

If you’re attending SXSW, make sure you know about the road closures in place. If you drive, be careful about parking where you shouldn’t be. In addition, people should be mindful of designated loading and unloading zones and other tow-away zones.

Consider taking mass transit options. Capital Metro has extended hours for MetroRail and MetroRapid. Click here for details.

2018 SXSW Street closures map. (City of Austin)

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