Cameras give officers another look into Riverbend 2017 - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Cameras give officers another look into Riverbend 2017

Posted: Updated:
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

The 35th annual Riverbend Festival kicks off Friday and officials have a new way to deal with large crowds.

Chattanooga police said they've been preparing for Riverbend for about  a year.

7 new cameras on the riverfront are giving Chattanooga police officers another look into the festival.

"They are fully functioning and recording," said Lt. Austin Garrett with the Chattanooga Police Department.

"We have cameras inside the festival and we have some cameras on the perimeter of the festival to allow us to view traffic and things like that," explained Lt. Garrett.

The new cameras have real-time viewing capabilities, which officers said will help them when responding to situations.

"If we have a report of a fight or a report of a medical issue, for us to get through crowds to that takes a little bit  of time," explained Lt. Garrett, "But with those cameras we can get a little bit of intelligence ahead of time knowing if it's really serious and what kinds of crowds we have to get through to get to the issue to deal with it."

Along with new cameras there are multiple agencies helping with the festival, including Chattanooga Police, Hamilton County Sheriff's Office, and a private security company.

"You'll see us and be able to interact with us all throughout the festival grounds. You'll see us everywhere you go," assured Lt. Garrett.

Going into the festival all bags will be checked and no backpacks will be allowed.

If you have a permit, Chattanooga police said you are allowed to carry a handgun, though they don't recommend it.

"It's not a very good idea to have a weapon, as I'm carrying it, open, walking through a crowd of people who are drinking and things like that," said Lt. Garrett.

Officers sad with tens of thousands of people set to attend Riverbend 2017, they aren't taking any shortcuts.

Lt. Garret said they are prepared to handle any situation.

"I can assure people coming to the riverbend festival that you're as safe here as you are at your own home," he urged.

Chattanooga police also said the FAA enforcement division will be in town to monitor drones, which officers said are not allowed to fly over the festival areas. 

WEEKLY CIRCULARS
Powered by Frankly