LMPD Boosts Security As Kentucky Derby Weekend Approaches

Louisville Metro Police are boosting security details in the final days of celebrations for the Kentucky Derby.

LMPD officials said the department will  work with local, state and federal agencies—including the homeland security department—to ensure the safety.

Maj. Kelly Jones, commander for LMPD’s special operations, said officers are also constantly monitoring social media, watching for potential threats.

“We don’t know of any threat that is a threat to safety at any event for any of our citizens right now,” he said.

Cameras have also been installed along Broadway to monitor activities during Thursday’s Pegasus Parade.  Officials would not say how many cameras have been added or where they have been placed, but did say they will be able monitor Broadway West to Ninth Street.

LMPD Lt. Andrea Brown, who will be overseeing security efforts at the Oaks and Derby, said officials are “prepared to handle any issues, with numerous contingency plans in place.”

Officials are also partnering with TARC to provide transportation during Derby weekend, as many streets surrounding Churchill Downs will have limited access.

Barry Barker, executive director of TARC, said he encourages people, especially those who have been drinking alcohol, to take a TARC.

The night before Derby Saturday, TARC rides will be free, Barker said.  

“No one has an excuse, if they’ve been drinking, they can hop on the bus, we will get them home and we will be their designated driver,” he said.

Barker said regular TARC routes will be different after 4:30 p.m. on Derby day.

For a complete run down of street closures and Derby Festival information, go here.

Jones said he is confident that LMPD will handle or diffuse any situation before it becomes a problem.

“This is certainly not our first Derby,” he said.  “We have a lot of practice at this.”

Jacob Ryan

Jacob Ryan is the Urban Affairs reporter for WFPL.

@jacobhryan

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