Enter your search terms:

How PDs in path of totality are prepping for solar eclipse

By Sarah Roebuck

NEW YORK — On April 8, a total solar eclipse will cross North America.

According to NASA, the path of the solar eclipse will enter the United States in Texas, and travel through Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

Many law enforcement agencies in states that are in the path of totality are prepping for the influx of visitors to their jurisdictions. This rare occasion will put many areas into total darkness for three to four minutes.


Agencies in Maine are collaborating closely with municipalities throughout the state to prepare for the anticipated surge of visitors, the Piscataquis Observer reports.

While the April 8 eclipse will be observable across all of Maine, almost half the state will witness a total eclipse. This phenomenon is likely to attract thousands of visitors, potentially resulting in unusual traffic congestion for Maine’s rural areas.

Maine State Police also visitors to have a “good, old-fashioned paper map” as it’s possible cell towers will be overwhelmed.

New York

New York State Police stated that the department has “meticulously developed an emergency operation plan.”

“Building on past experiences, the planning process for this event has been proactive, aiming to address potential impacts within Troop E. Our goal is to minimize any adverse effects associated with the large influx of visitors to the local area. This approach is based on the lessons learned from the 2017 solar eclipse, where some regions experienced a 100 percent increase in their population in the days leading up to and during the eclipse,” New York State Police said in a press release.

Troop E will operate out of Rochester, Auburn and Bath. Emergency Operations Centers will also be located in every county, along with state police representatives.

The Rochester Police Department said most officers will be working a 12-hour shift on April 8 due to the impending influx of traffic, Rochester First reports.

Rochester officers will be deployed at several high-attendance event locations. A number of them will focus on managing traffic at certain intersections. To mitigate the challenge of being understaffed, they will utilize access to the State Department of Transportation’s cameras, Captain Greg Bello told Rochester First. The Rochester Police Department is collaborating with the State Department of Transportation to make use of these cameras as well.

“A representative from our traffic unit is going to be there who has intimate knowledge of the way city streets work, the way traffic flows in some of our streets so we anticipate, the traffic signals running some of them from the Command Post to allow as many cars to get through as we can,” Bello said.


In Kerr County, Texas, the sheriff’s office anticipates crowd control and traffic enforcement to be among the most difficult tasks during the eclipse, KSAT reports.

Sheriff Larry Leitha told KSAT that everyone with a badge in Kerr County will be working that day. That means more than 55 deputies and an additional 20 Texas Department of Public Safety troopers, along with the possibility of an air life helicopter.

Emergency situations will be prioritized, but the City of Kerrville has also recruited extra officers from the San Antonio region for support.


Erie County, Ohio, is perfectly positioned in the path of totality, leading many law enforcement agencies to prepare for months, the Sandusky Register reports.

Huron Police Chief Terry Graham said the department is preparing for the influx in traffic, as well as deterring potential crimes.

“The Huron Police Department will have officers strategically assigned to various areas of the city which appear to be popular viewing locations. The increased presence of officers in these locations will be to deter any potential disturbances. If there are any disturbances or calls for service in these areas, our agency will have a very quick response,” Graham told the Sandusky Register.


The Arkansas State Police will oversee statewide operations from its command center in Little Rock in collaboration with the Department of Emergency Management, 5 News reports.

Many counties across the state will also have command centers set up on April 8.


Anticipating a crowd of over 60,000 people in McCurtain County, the Oklahoma National Guard is deploying a 30-member civil support team to assist the Oklahoma Highway Patrol and local emergency management teams, KOCO reports. They noted that the National Guard is activated to provide support whenever there’s a significant gathering or event in Oklahoma.

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation has described the eclipse as a major challenge for managing traffic congestion, advising drivers to anticipate delays, exercise patience and adhere to safety measures. ODOT also emphasized the importance of motorists being vigilant about the road ahead and mindful of any pedestrians.


The Burlington Police Department in Vermont said it can handle crowds between 25,000-50,000 people, but any more could pose risks, NBC5 reports.

Chief Jon Murad said large gatherings of 25,000-50,000 people is similar to what his department handles for annual events, such as the city’s 3rd of July party.

“If this event brings in crowds of a similar size, I think we’ll be okay. If it brings in unprecedented crowds that far exceed the crowds that we’re used to at the Vermont City Marathon or at the 3rd of July, we might not be able to address them in the same way that we’re use to,” said Murad.

Burlington plans to have 40 on-site officers, which is the standard number the department has for large events.

This post was originally published on this site