CMPD: We're ready for CIAA - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

CMPD: We're ready for CIAA

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

The CIAA is coming to town and with it, bringing 200 thousand people into the heart of the Queen City next week. Despite the massive crowds expected, Charlotte Mecklenburg Police say they're ready.

The city declared the tournament an extraordinary event, putting in the same category as the DNC.

Major Jeff Estes, with the Central Division, said the sheer size of the CIAA's is the primary reason why.

"When we have large amounts of people in a small area, when safety concerns are heightened, that's the reason why we seek the designation," he said.

Historically problems are rare during CIAA. While CMPD doesn't reveal specifics of its security plan, expect to see a heavy police presence in uptown, including off duty officers.

Estes also says police are given wide latitude during extraordinary events to make sure the tourney's pristine track record stays that way.

"Just gives us a little more expansion on what we stop and question," he pointed. "You know, if someone is exhibiting unusual behavior or carrying something that seems to be unusual."

Michael Hammond moved to Charlotte two years ago. He's looking forward to his third CIAA.

"I've been here two years now and I've been enjoying it every year," he said. "Planning to hit a few games. Gotta a lot of family coming in town so it's probably going to be a lot of partying, too."

He's also glad to know there will plenty of officers on hand.

"Having that extra manpower is what we call out here keeps the streets safe and we can all just come out here and have a great time," he said. "That's what it's about."

WBTV has learned the city uses the designation of an extraordinary event sparingly.

In fact, we've learned CMPD has to put in a request to the city manager, and get it approved before moving forward with its plan.

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