Louisville prepares for derby weekend


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ)- Louisville police are already preparing for this weekend’s Kentucky Derby.

Wednesday they released their security and traffic plan to make sure this year’s race goes as smoothly as possible.

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With hundreds of thousands of people expected to flood into Churchill Downs this weekend, Louisville police are preparing for one of their busiest weekends of the year.

Police recommend people look at road closures ahead of time and pre-plan how you will be getting to and from the track.

With limited parking in the area, police have designated taxi cab lots on Central Avenue and an Uber pick up lot at nearby Papa John’s Stadium.

The city will also be providing a shuttle service, all to try and keep everyone safe.

“The traffic unit will have additional teams out on the roadways looking for persons under the influence. Please, please, please do not drink and drive. Our community will be in the national spotlight this weekend so remember to fill yourself full of patience, be considerate to residents, visitors and hundreds of officers that are going to be out there diligently working to get you home quickly and safely,” said Sgt. Ruby Ellison, traffic commander.

Louisville Metro Emergency Services have added another layer of security this year, a new feature in their texting emergency notification system.

“Anytime you have a large crowd gathering that kind of so called soft threat, of you know potential dangerous activity we want to make sure that people going to the event are having a great time, having the time that they are expecting to have at derby week but we want to make sure they are prepared and that they have the information should any sort of incident occur,” said Mitchell Burmeister with Louisville Metro Emergency Services.

You can sign up for the alerts by texting derby-week to 6-7-2-8-3. There is no fee to sign up but standard message and data rates apply.

“One of the biggest causes of confusion after an event has occurred or when an event is occurring is communication, so we want to make sure that we have a clear unified message of communication coming from our incident management system,” said Burmeister.

Emergency service officials say you can sign up for alerts for each of the individual events going on this week as well.