ST. LOUIS - Preps are underway as downtown St. Louis is getting ready to revel yet again in one of its biggest sporting events this week.
And the fanfare comes with the need for stepping up security.
Tuesday night, several downtown streets had already shut down as the city gets ready to host its first-ever SEC Basketball Tournament
“We maximize officers downtown both undercover officers as well as officers that are in uniform and we put them on pretty strategic spots,” said Captain Renee Kriesmann with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.
City police will also use their most up to date technology to keep a close eye.
“We will use our new tower that we have at 14th and Market that has high visibility cameras and those will feed into our real-time crime center,” Kreismann explained. “Part of our focus this weekend will also be the garages and flat lots. Park in well-lit areas park in areas that you are familiar with.”
If MetroLink is your preferred choice of transportation Kreismann said look for extra police officers roaming.
“We will put extra officers on MetroLink platforms as well as on the trains so we will have enough officers to staff all of those locations,” she said.
Several restaurants will also host watch parties.
“We get quite a few officers in here all the time so they keep us updated on how the traffic flow will go or how it affects our trolleys,” explained Aaron Sniveoi, General Manager at Maggie O’Brien’s, “and most of us run shuttles to and from Scottrade.”
Officials with MetroLink said that in addition to city officers the transit system will also provide extra public safety officers of their own.
Kreismann said that if you’re planning to bring a bag, make sure it’s an SEC-approved bag which you can find at the hotels or at Scottrade Center.