Agencies working together to keep people safe during Kentucky Derby week

Agencies working together to keep people safe during Kentucky Derby week
Published: May. 2, 2023 at 11:29 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - After two mass shootings and social media posts threatening a resurgence in Broadway cruising, concerns are growing about safety during the Kentucky Oaks and Derby.

Before Thunder over Louisville, some people said they were scared to attend the event because of safety concerns.

The city has had several Derby festivities and events since then, and they’ve gone off without any problems.

Now, officials are working to make sure Derby runs just as safely and smoothly.

On Tuesday, first responders and Churchill Downs leaders laid out their plans to keep crowds safe.

As soon as one Derby ends, planning beings for the next one.

“We did our after action, we came together, lessons learned, and started diving in for 149,” Senior Director of Security, Safety, and First Aid Josh Ball said.

Louisville’s recent violence has been moved to the top of officials’ preparation lists while planning for the 2023 Run for the Roses.

The latest report from LMPD says as of April 24, there have been 56 homicides, which include two mass shootings in the same week.

It’s had people on edge.

“Safety for the community is our number one concern,” said Lt. Col. Steve Healey at LMPD.

Federal, state, and local law enforcement are working together to keep everyone safe from bomb-sniffing dogs to police officers.

“They will do safety sweeps of the facility before the doors open, before the public, just to make sure everything is safe,” Cassandra Mullins with ATF Louisville said. The ATF gave a demonstration with the dogs last week.

The security isn’t just happening down at the track.

“We’re also already seeing some social media postings regarding taking over Broadway,” Healey said. “Large amounts of cruising, and things like that. I would suggest, do not do that.”

Healey mentioned a homicide that happened during last year’s Derby.

He said while the murder was happening, a group of people were trying to take over an intersection to drift.

“Those activities will not be tolerated this year,” Healey said.

Healy said there’s a strict plan in place for Broadway because they need to make sure roads are clear.

“Whatever event you may be in, and your car is not there, check with LMPD tow lot to see if it’s impounded before you report it stolen,” Healey said.

Every first responder and Churchill leader at the event stressed the same thing, if you see something, say something because police can’t be everywhere.

“LMPD is asking the public to be vigilant and to be our eyes and ears,” said Major Mindy Vance with LMPD.

To find out more about the traffic plan, click or tap here.