GREENSBORO - Around 100 police officers will be working the National Folk Festival in Greensboro this weekend to provide traffic control, crowd management and security.
“Mainly, we are there to help people have an enjoyable time in a safe environment,” said Capt. Jonathan Franks who will oversee the police support during the festival.
Police will be stationed at key roads and intersections to keep traffic flowing in an orderly manner. Should an emergency or spontaneous occurrence arise, officers are trained to handle crisis situations and protect the people in the affected area.
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However, Franks stresses that everyone has a role in making the event incident-free. “Both years, even with large crowds, we had no significant issues and no arrests. We attribute that to people taking care of each other, and looking out for each other. We want the same outcome this year--- everyone has fun, no one gets hurt, or violates the law.”
The GPD offer the following tips in crowds:
• Vehicle operators are reminded to be more alert and drive with caution in areas that people congregate. Young children, especially, can be impulsive and inattentive to their surroundings. Motorists should expect the unexpected in these areas. Pedestrians have the right-of-way at intersections whether crosswalks are painted on the street or not. Vehicles must yield to people on foot.
• Hide any valuables you leave in your car. Lock your vehicle and take the keys with you.
• Pay attention to where you are and what is happening around you. When you arrive at your destination, take note of the officers protecting the area, their posts, and their uniforms. This will help you easily recognize them even under duress. Police stationed in public spaces are trained to help you in an emergency.
• Report suspicious behavior and or disruptive persons to the nearest police officer.
• Immediately locate exits in your parking area and event venue. Knowing exits other than the main exit may be especially helpful if you need to escape from a potentially dangerous situation.
• Protect your cash and personal property. Avoid ATMs in crowded areas. Keep your wallet in a front pocket (preferably one with a zipper). If you use a purse, hold it close to your body where you can always see it.
• Parents of children of all ages are encouraged to know their children’s whereabouts and closely supervise them around crowds. Report a lost child immediately to police. Officers have established a reunification tent on Church Street near Lindsay Street to reconnect families.