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City partners with Knoxville organizers to increase event security

The Crisis Management Emergency Plan helps organizers and first responders communicate to make security better at city events.

Knoxville — Knoxville hosts hundreds of special events every year.

First responders are ramping up event safety, and they're asking event organizers to do the same.

KPD and KFD brought nearly 150 organizers together today to help them keep people safe.

They detailed best practices and new requirements to have an event in the city.

"We want people to have fun," Knoxville Police Department Sgt. Sammy Schaffer said.

Knoxville enjoys its events.

"We know that there's an element that we bring that they can't do without us. Certain elements of that safety, that security, that protection," Schaffer said.

First responders and city officials met with event organizers to refine security at events moving forward.

Andrew Wood with the Hope Resource Center is planning a 5K fundraiser.

The center helps people with free pregnancy tests and other reproductive health needs.

"The great thing about a meeting like this is it allows us to reflect and look inward, and go maybe we did get a little lazy on this," Wood said.

Organizers will fill out what's called a Crisis Management Emergency Plan.

They'll give information about their event, anything from where people will be, to a specific evacuation plan, to a missing persons plan.

They'll turn that in to first responders.

"Leading up the event, communication is important," Schaffer said. "As we learn of concerns or hazards, just as the same as they do, to communicate those back to us so that we're both prepared."

Schaffer ticks off key reminders like: have a security director, be aware of your surroundings, have a plan.

"The big thing is just getting people thinking," Schaffer said.

Wood said he plans to keep the information in mind.

"Sometimes that gets lost in a lot of the discussion, but they are here to help," Wood said.

Organizers will have to fill out an emergency plan when they apply for an event permit with the city.

Every fourth Thursday, Knoxville special events has a meeting to help organizers with planning.