Chief talks Spring Break preparations

Special to the PRESS

South Padre Island Chief of Police Randy Smith delivered an update on his department and what it is doing to prepare for Spring Break 2016 during a monthly “Coffee and Conversation” event hosted by the South Padre Island Chamber of Commerce at Kranzler Restaurant.

Although always a concern, safety is never more strained than during the Island’s bustling Spring Break and summer season. This year, crowds are anticipated to increase due to litigation banning alcohol on Port Aransas and Panama City, Florida beaches. In addition, with Spring Break’s Texas Week and the Easter holiday falling within a two-week period, hotel and flight booking have been much higher than recent years.

According to Smith, preparation for this year’s expected increase in visitors includes the use of drones for surveying and crowd control along with the setup of emergency medical tents on the northern and southern ends of the island. Additionally, license plate scanners at the base of the Queen Isabella Memorial Causeway, which have been in the works for some time, are scheduled to be up and running by March.

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