As an event organizer, you must provide a safe and secure environment for your event. This is accomplished through detailed pre-planning by anticipating potential problems and concerns related to the event activities and surrounding environment and by being prepared to react during the event to any unanticipated problems. The size, type, time of day, and location of your event, as well as the overall activities proposed to take place in association with your event, are all areas that need to be analyzed in depth and addressed in your security plan.
The Austin Police Department will review your application and has final authority to require a minimum number of police officers, licensed private security guards, and volunteers to staff your proposed event. The Austin Police Department also has the authority to adjust the scale and certain aspects of your event in order to ensure it is safe and secure.
During your event, the Austin Police Department closely monitors all situations and circumstances and has final authority over your event safety and security. The Austin Police Department maintains the right to shut down any or all components of your event and/or to provide additional department staff to supplement your security staff (police officers, licensed private security guards, and/or volunteers) in order to provide a safe and secure environment. Any additional department staff added to your event by the Austin Police Department will be billed directly to the event organizer.
The City of Austin Special Events Ordinance provides event organizers with the opportunity to hire private security, including licensed peace officers that are not employed by the City of Austin, for personal safety or property security during a special event to supplement the services provided by the Austin Police Department (APD). This security handout provides additional information about requirements and identified resources. All police officers present at your event are expected to enforce all laws including areas and circumstances outside of your event. The enforcement of these laws will be done in accordance with Austin Police Department policy.
Private Security Requirements
Event organizers may choose to hire a professional security company licensed by the State of Texas to help to develop and manage an appropriate security plan. A representative of this company should work closely with the event organizer to review and analyze the proposed event. The security company representative should assist in identifying points of concern and potential problems. The representative should help to make recommendations for areas of concerns and the number of licensed private security guards, non-licensed volunteers, and other staff needed at the event. Should your event use private security as part of your safety plan, it is critical that the event organizer coordinates areas of responsibility with APD prior to the start of your event.
It is required that the event organizer maintain written verification that the private security company will provide service at the event and has all required licenses and authorization to operate in the State of Texas and the City of Austin, in accordance with the Texas Administrative Code, Title 37, Part 1, Chapter 35 and the Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 1702. Private security officers have no police powers except the ability to perform a citizen’s arrest.
Use of Volunteers
As part of your event security plan, APD may allow the event organizer to use volunteers in specific predetermined locations and capacities that do not require licensed security guards. Should the volunteer services fail to be provided, and/or prove inadequate, APD maintains the right to shut down any or all components of the event and/or to provide additional department staff that will be billed directly to the event organizer.
Capitol Area Complex
If your event falls within the boundaries of Capitol Area Complex, you will need to receive approval and coordinate with the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) by notifying Region 7 Headquarters at firstname.lastname@example.org. DPS staff will coordinate your event application with the Texas Facilities Commission and the State Preservation Board.
University of Texas at Austin
If your event falls within the University of Texas at Austin property, you will need to receive approval and coordinate with University of Texas Police Department, Special Event Security.