GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - Security is a top focus for the Grand Rapids Police Department as the countdown nears for the start of ArtPrize 2013.
Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to visit the downtown area for the world’s largest art competition Sept. 18 to Oct. 6.
ArtPrize officials told 24 Hour News 8 they haven't made any changes to their security plan this year. They feel they have an extensive and thorough plan, working closely with police every year.
Grand Rapids Police Capt. Daniel Savage told 24 Hour News 8 you will notice a heavy police presence in downtown, as officers will be walking around and riding bicycles.
As for their ArtPrize security plan, Savage said his department makes adjustments every year during the event as to what sights or venues are most popular.
"We evaluate it every year and try to make improvements,” said Capt. Savage. “I really don't want to get into details of what the exact plans are, but yeah, we're always evaluating and trying to improve it from year to year."
You will notice many officers focused on traffic and getting people safely across the busy streets -- a major issue as the sidewalks are packed.
A sidewalk by the UICA building near Monroe Center and Division Avenue is under construction, so police advise pedestrians to pay attention in this area.
Police also ask ArtPrize visitors to be on the lookout and report any suspicious activity.
A very dangerous situation was averted when crews contained a chemical leak during a fire at a business in Grand Haven Tuesday morning.
World leaders and joyous, singing South Africans honored Nelson Mandela on Tuesday at a rainy Soweto soccer stadium where U.S. President Barack Obama praised him as a "giant of history" and the last great liberator of the 20th century.
Celebrating one of his personal heroes, President Barack Obama praised Nelson Mandela as the last great liberator of the 20th century, urging the world to carry on his legacy by fighting inequality, poverty and discrimination.