Bridge Day Behind-The-Scenes: Law EnforcementFebruary 8, 2012
Putting on a successful Bridge Day has the potential to be a logistical nightmare. There’s a reason that it takes months of planning and preparation. One “behind the scenes” presence that plays a big role in these logistics are local, state, and national law enforcement agencies.
Here are the Bridge Day law enforcement agencies and a little bit about their contributions.
Fayetteville City Police
This group deals with traffic issues associated with Bridge Day within the city limits of Fayetteville. They reroute traffic in town for the bands and chili cook-off and help the vendors make their way from their parking lots to Route 19.
Fayette County Sheriff’s Office
The Fayette County Sheriff’s Office is primarily responsible for rerouting traffic from Rt. 19 onto Rt. 16 and 60, away from the Bridge. They are also responsible for running background checks on all rappel participants, BASE participants, and vendors.
West Virginia State Police
This group also helps with rerouting around the Bridge during the festival. They help the National Park Service control traffic that is allowed on Fayette Station Road. They team up with the County Police to help with crowd control on and around the Bridge throughout the day. They also help the Fayetteville City Police in moving the vendors into their positions and help close down the event at 3pm.
The State, County and City police dogs all help with vendor inspections prior to their lineup on Bridge Day morning.
The magnitude of this festival dictates that many other agencies help ensure it is a safe and organized event. Besides local law enforcement agencies, Bridge Day also gets assistance from the FBI, ATF, the WV National Guard, Federal Marshalls, Fayette County Emergency Services and the Fayetteville and Oak Hill Fire Departments.
The WV Legislature designated the creation of a Bridge Day Commission, which gives local law enforcement agencies a seat on the commission. This commission also consists of a representative from the Fayette County Commission, the Department of Highways, the Fayette County Chamber of Commerce and an advisory position for the National Park Service.
Without all of these law enforcement agencies working together, it would be impossible for Bridge Day to exist. Safety is a priority, and law enforcement plays a big role.Tags: Bridge Day, law enforcement, national park service, New River Gorge Bridge, West Virginia