FLINT (WJRT) - (08/12/16) - With the Back to the Bricks main event ready to roll into Flint next week, police are taking time out to talk safety.
We're talking over a half million people. No one department has enough manpower to keep that many people safe. That's why they built a unified task force of local, state and federal agencies and why it works so well each year.
It's a big job at one of Genesee County's biggest events. Keeping everyone safe at Back to the Bricks takes a lot of planning and coordination.
“It is a task, I mean it weighs on your mind because that's a lot of people to protect at one time. And that's where the unified task force comes in,” said Flint Police Captain Collin Birnie.
That task force is made up of local, state and federal agencies.
Uniformed and plain clothes officers will be patrolling the streets, enforcing all of the same rules and regulations from last year.
“I have to give a shout out to the cruisers and spectators. A lot of the issues we've had in the past with the burnouts, the drag racing, the alcohol, they've been wonderful, so every year, we have to reiterate there is a zero tolerance, but people are really amazing and it's a good event,” said Burton Police Chief Tom Osterholzer.
Police are serious about those traffic violations - or "hot-rodding", as they called it. Anyone caught smoking tires or doing spin outs will be ticketed, arrested and their car will be impounded.
The taskforce has implemented a few changes this year. Many of them they won't discuss, but they did say the state of the art surveillance system used in years past has been improved.
This is the third year they've been enforcing a curfew for minors Tuesday through Friday from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. Police say it's done a good job of cutting down on incidents.
“Luckily, the event itself is usually family-oriented and very fun and since we implemented the curfew, it's become even better,” Birnie said.
They planned for 600,000 people last year, so this is a large scale event, and when it comes to events that big, there is always a bit more fear for what can happen - especially in light of all of the attacks we've seen around the world in the last year.
Police say those incidents absolutely are a determining factor in their security plans.