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Law Enforcement Offers Austin F1 Risk Assessment

Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 05:06 PM CDT

The barricades are already going up, the signs that Formula One is here are everywhere, and this week, tens of thousands of race fans will fill Downtown Austin’s streets -- and so will police, many undercover. It’s all part of their plan to run risk assessments throughout the weekend and keep the public safe until the last fan leaves.

"We've not received any information about any credible threats that I know of," said Roger Wade, Travis County Sheriff’s Office’s public information officer.

"We don't perceive any additional threat that we don't see at any other large event," said David Carter, Assistant Chief/Chief of Staff at the Austin Police Department

But law enforcement officials say they’ve still been training and collaborating with state and federal agencies.

“The entire world will be focused on Austin so obviously then all the partners that have vested interest whether it's the federal the state or the local are all gonna be working together to ensure that it's a safe event,” said Carter.

Carter says the department will have more officers covering a much wider area than South by Southwest or Austin City Limits, with special teams dedicated to fighting certain crimes.

"We'll certainly have undercover officers working throughout the downtown," said Carter. "The organized crime division is clearly working on issues surrounding people that may be coming to the city to victimize either the people that live here or the people that are coming to visit."

They’ve also held joint training sessions and moved up training for SWAT, Bomb Squad, Hazmat, and other agencies, to happen before F1.

"If we see any threat, we have teams that are out and able to respond to those threats," said Carter.

APD is running the Austin Regional Intelligence Center throughout the weekend, which will be "connected into the state fusion center as well as into other federal assets,” explained Carter.

The U.S. State Department recently offered training to APD, Travis County, and other area law enforcement on how to deal with dignitaries and people with diplomatic immunity. For more specifics on what was covered, both APD and Travis County referred us to the State Department.

"We're just not discussing personal protection or dignitaries coming to the track,” said Wade.

We reached out to the State Department but were unable to speak with a representative as of Wednesday afternoon.

As for what the public should do to stay safe, it’s the same rule you’ve heard before: if you see something, say something to law enforcement.

For KEYE TV’s special F1 coverage, go to http://www.keyetv.com/news/features/f1/?wap=0&/.

By Adam Bennett
Law Enforcement Offers Austin F1 Risk Assessment


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