Mobile hospital, police in place for MLK50

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Roads are closed all around the National Civil Rights Museum and first responders are at their posts, ready to guard the commemoration dedicated to Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Memphis Police Department has had a very visible presence downtown for the past few days. You will see security en masse Wednesday, but there will also be plenty you don't see.

"We have federal partners on board state partners on board," MPD Colonel Samuel Hines said.

It is all hands-on-deck Tuesday and Wednesday for MPD as officers prepare to protect thousands of people in town for MLK50.

"There's virtually a police officer on every corner around these venues, so if you see something, say something," MPD Lieutenant Colonel Keith Watson said.

Tuesday, both Memphis police officers and PST's stood watch at barricades and intersections around the National Civil Rights Museum.

At South Main and GE Patterson, many drivers had to turn around, apparently unaware of the road closure.

Medical Reserve Corps Coordinator Wayne Arnold and his crew from Jackson, Tennessee, are in town to run the mobile hospital at the corner of Second and GE Patterson.

"It's a hospital, we can do everything short of lab and X-rays," Arnold said.

Emergency personnel will make rounds on ATVs. Should a major emergency occur, this will be used as a treatment point.

"It keeps the surge out of hospitals should they have a lot of patients show up," Arnold said.

By Tuesday afternoon, the area around National Civil Rights Museum wasn't as crowded with tourists as it was Monday when admission was free.

Chairs and sound equipment are now in place, all ready to go, with the eyes of the world watching.

"What would've happened to this country if he hadn't have been killed," said Kathryn Sigman from Nashville. "People just need to realize how important this is."

Most of the people staffing the field hospital are from Jackson, but there will be a handful of volunteer nurses and other personnel from the Memphis area as well.

Memphis police will also have security checkpoints in place.

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