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Police Chief: Arts, Beats & Eats Dos and Don'ts

Royal Oak Police Chief Corrigan O'Donohues offers advice for Labor Day weekend festival.

Police Chief Corrigan O'Donohue (left) and Sgt. Al Carter monitor the main stage at Arts, Beats & Eats in 2012.
Police Chief Corrigan O'Donohue (left) and Sgt. Al Carter monitor the main stage at Arts, Beats & Eats in 2012.
Royal Oak Police are prepared for an estimated 400,000 people to converge  in downtown Royal Oak this weekend for the Arts, Beats & Eats (ABE) festival.

Now in its fourth year in Royal Oak, the city has a good plan in place to monitor the festival in real-time, according to Police Chief Corrigan O'Donohue. Festival-goers can expect to see officers on foot complemented by two separate security firms, he said.


Last week, the Detroit News reported SECURATECH, a local security firm, will no longer be providing what was estimated at $35,000 worth of security services during the festival.

"Basically, they were going to set up cameras within the footprint of the festival," O'Donohue said.

The Farmington Hills-based firm never planned to provide real-time monitoring or boots on the street, according to the chief.

"What they were planning has never been a part of our public safety plan. (SECURATECH pulling out) is not an issue to me," O'Donohue said.

Confident his department is prepared for any contingency, the chief offered these tips to festival-goers coming to the event, which runs from Aug. 30 to Sept. 2.

1. Do park at 'official' parking lots

"The proceeds from parking are used to cover the city's costs, such as police and fire, but we only collect from official ABE parking decks and lots," O'Donohue said. "We encourage people to use official ABE parking."   

Official lots include city parking structures, city surface lots, and Royal Oak Middle School.  Also, the city lot at Interstate-696 and Woodward will be available at a reduced cost of $10.  

In addition, revenue from official lots supports improvements to Royal Oak parks. Look for parking signs that contain the “Park for Parks” icon, the chief said.

2. Do avoid 11 Mile

"Avoid 11 Mile Road construction by taking 12 Mile or another alternative route," O'Donohue said. 

Work continues on the $1.9 million 11 Mile Road makeover, which has the road down to two lanes from Campbell Road to Troy Street.

3. Don't park in residential neighborhoods

"It is clearly marked prohibited parking and violators will be ticketed," warned the chief.

Police will issue $50 fines as a deterrent and also have the option to tow vehicles if resident parking problems are an issue.

More than 1,600 parking tickets were issued in 2012.

4. Don't 'over do it'

"Considering the number of visitors (about 390,000 people attended the festival in 2012) we have had relatively few problems," O'Donohue said. "We hope people come down and have a great time, but don't overdo it."

5. Do come early

"Finally, I would add this is our fourth year. The main stage bands are always good but there are a lot of fantastic bands on the smaller stages," O'Donohue said.  "Come early and take some time at the other stages.  You can find some real gems."

Click here for a compete music lineup.

Click here for more Arts, Beats & Eats coverage.

Angela Doolin August 29, 2013 at 12:21 PM
I'm sorry to be pedantic, but the word is "complemented." Otherwise, great stuff. I appreciate all the terrific coverage you provide for these local events!
kecathome August 30, 2013 at 02:39 PM
Perhaps you meant to say "but the word is "complimented.""?
Angela Doolin August 30, 2013 at 05:57 PM
kecathome--The homonyms are frequently confused. "Compliment" as a verb is to give praise. "Complement" is to complete or go well with something. Hope this helps!

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