Final safety preparations for Beale Street Music

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Beale Street Music Festival comes less than a week after two people were shot on Beale Street, but organizers believe it will be one of the safest places in the city.

As tens of thousands of concertgoers flock to Tom Lee Park for the Beale Street Music Festival, organizers and law enforcement say security is their top priority.

“Our ultimate goal is to provide safety and security for the event,” said Colonel Keith Watson of the Memphis Police Department.

MPD and other law enforcement agencies conducted walk-throughs as they prepare to put their safety plan into action. “These annual events take special training. That special planning has occurred here in the last couple of months in preparation for the 2023 Beale Street music festival,” said Watson.

MPD tells WREG more than 100 officers from different agencies have been assigned to the security detail, which includes officers in the air and on the Mississippi River. Among those assisting with security is the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.

“We’re gonna be providing all the resources that we need to provide to keep everyone safe,” said Sheriff Floyd Bonner, Shelby County Sheriff.

Sheriff Bonner says his deputies will mainly be at Tom Lee Park, while officers from MPD will be along Beale Street. “We are going to pay a lot of attention to bad actors– people that come down that don’t want to have fun but create disturbances and we will take care of it.”

The festival comes a week after Sunday’s double shooting on Beale Street, which injured a vendor and an innocent bystander. It’s one of the many incidents which has prompted an emphasis on security for law enforcement.

“We ask each and every person that chooses to come to have fun to enjoy themselves but be mindful of your surroundings,” said Colonel Watson.

MPD says property crimes are the biggest concern, so they are encouraging people not to leave valuables in their vehicles. If you see something suspicious, remember to report it.

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