On Monday, Aug 21, the eclipse will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
With so many millions of people expected to be in town, for law enforcement in Middle Tennessee, dealing with the influx looks like it will be a pretty unique experience in itself.
The Williamson Source spoke to various law enforcement agencies in the area to get tips, plans and important information they want the public to know.
Metro police, more than any other department, will deal with the most eclipse chaos.
They do not plan to close any roads for the eclipse, and strongly caution pedestrians against “walking into the streets or stopping on an interstate to view the eclipse.”
“Nashvillians and our visitors are encouraged to plan where they intend to watch the eclipse and head there early,” Officer April Weatherly, Public Information Officer, wrote in an e-mail.
The department recommends the following places for viewing the eclipse:
· Adventure Science Center, 800 Fort Negley Boulevard
· Nashville Zoo at Grassmere, 3777 Nolensville Pike
· First Tennessee Park, 19 Jr Gilliam Way
· Centennial Park, 2500 West End Avenue
· Radnor Lake, 1160 Otter Creek Road
· Edwin & Percy Warner Parks, located off Highway 100
· Cedar Hill Park, 860 Old Hickory Boulevard in Madison
· Beaman Park, 5911 Old Hickory Boulevard
· Shelby Bottoms, 1900 Davidson Street
· Shelby Park, Shelby Avenue at S. 20th Street
· Peeler Park, off Neelys Bend Road in Madison
· Bells Bend Outdoor Center, 4187 Old Hickory Boulevard
· Bicentennial Mall State Park, 600 James Robertson Parkway
· General Jackson Showboat, 2812 Opryland Drive
· Cheekwood, 1200 Forrest Park Drive
· The Hermitage, 4580 Rachel’s Lane
The Murfreesboro Police Department plans to make student safety a top priority, and they will have officers in place to ensure a safe viewing experience.
Also, extra officers will be on patrol throughout the city with an emphasis on schools.
The Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office plans to patrol as usual.
The total eclipse may not reach as far south as Franklin, but the city’s police department is getting totally prepared.
“Extra officers will be on duty to assist with any increase in traffic and call volume,” Lt. Charles Warner, Public Information Officer for FPD, said. “We will also be focusing on keeping traffic moving, and not stopping on or along roadways, especially the Interstate, to get a better look at the eclipse.”
Brentwood is where totality will reach its most southerly point, with the area north of Concord Road getting several seconds of total eclipse, with that time increasing to the north and east.
Like in Franklin, the Brentwood Police will put extra officers on the streets.
“Out of an abundance of caution we will have additional resources on duty in both Patrol and Communications before and after the event,” Assistant Chief Tommy Walsh said. “We expect some traffic disruption to take place during the time of the full eclipse. Hopefully, that will clear quickly once the eclipse has ended.”
Walsh said he wanted to discourage motorists from stopping on the shoulder of the road at the time of the eclipse.
“We will be closely monitoring traffic during the event and will respond quickly to any disruption,” he said.
The Spring Hill Police Department has no special plans for Monday.
“Our traffic is pretty bad on a normal day, so we think we will be adequately prepared to handle things,” Lt. Justin Whitwell, Public Information Officer for the SHPD, said.