MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Safety is the top priority for Memphis Police Department as thousands of people descend upon the Bluff City for the NCAA Tournament.
North Carolina, Kentucky, UCLA, and Butler are in Memphis to compete in the Sweet 16.
Fans for all four teams have made the trip, which is a great thing for Memphis businesses, but it adds more pressure to the men and women tasked with keeping us safe.
Even Vice President Mike Pence is coming for the games, which adds another level of responsibility to the job of securing Downtown Memphis.
Memphis police officers are on hand to make sure that both players and fans are safe. Officers are posted at key areas around FedExForum to monitor all surroundings.
"If you park downtown, you need to be in a well-lit parking area, such as a parking garage, and need to be monitored and be aware of your environment at all times," Colonel Gloria Bullock said.
Bullock said officers will even be responsible for controlling the added traffic in Downtown Memphis.
"We will close down 4th Street for parking and then when the games are over all the traffic will be routed eastbound, away from the downtown area, to help get the congestion out," Bullock said.
Traffic control for the tournament around FedExForum will be the same as with all events at the Forum. Fourth Street will be closed to north and southbound traffic, as Fourth Street is designated for bus/limo parking. At the end of each game, westbound MLK traffic will be cut as necessary at Danny Thomas Boulevard in order to allow exiting traffic to utilize all lanes for eastbound traffic.
Northbound B.B. King traffic will be cut at MLK in order for pedestrians to have a safe transition.
Those in attendance should make every attempt to arrive early in order to avoid last minute traffic congestion.