Atlanta Police Department ready for NCAA Final Four events - CBS46 News

Atlanta Police Department ready for NCAA Final Four events

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ATLANTA (CBS ATLANTA) -

The Atlanta Police Department is preparing for the large crowds the NCAA Final Four basketball tournament will bring.

The department has been planning for the five-day event for more than a year.

The historic NCAA Final Four events will be held at Philips Arena, the Georgia Dome, the Georgia World Congress Center, and Centennial Olympic Park.

Traffic is expected to be extremely heavy around these venues.

Atlanta police will set up an incident command system to handle the events. There will be a command post at public safety headquarters with representatives of all the major law enforcement agencies.

The Skywatch observation tower will be placed in Centennial Olympic Park to oversee the area, and the mounted patrol will also be present to assist with crowd control, according to Atlanta Police Chief George Turner.

The APD video integration center has more than 1,200 cameras throughout the city.

The Atlanta Police Department strongly urges people to take MARTA or one of the many hotel shuttles operating throughout the weekend.

Officers will be working 12-hour shifts to ensure full staffing of the weekend's activities.

APD offers extra tips:

Exits from I-75/85 southbound include Williams Street or M.L. King Jr. Drive, but both of these are expected to back up early.

From the south, drivers on I-75/85 should take the International Boulevard, Fulton Street or Central Avenue exits.

Fans coming in on I-20 east should use the Windsor/Spring Street exit. The best exits on I-20 west are Capitol Avenue or Windsor Street.

Admission will be free to the Divisions II and III championship games, marking the first time the men's basketball champions of all three NCAA divisions will be crowned in the same city.

APD urges everyone to only buy tickets from reputable sources.

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