Hemminger said she was updated about plans for the event in the summer and again two to three weeks ago.
“I love the energy, the crazy costumes, the people,” she said. “It is a great celebration with a great vibe.”
On the day after Halloween, Mecimore said the police department will debrief and survey the officers who worked the previous night to see how the event went and what can be improved.
“There are a lot of things that take place before we are prepared,” Mecimore said.
Around 200 officers will be working the event, and many of those will be brought in from other counties.
Mecimore said they do work in advance to address alcohol issues for Halloween, but many of the calls come in after the event ends.
“When we clear the street, people start drinking,” he said. “A lot of calls come in after the event.”
Due to the event’s shift to East Franklin Street, there will be a barricade this year at the intersection of Columbia and Franklin to prevent cars from turning onto the street.
“In the past, we had a buffer area,” Mecimore said. “It is smaller this year, so we needed a positive barrier instead of cones and barrels like previous years.”
The Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership works together with the police department and downtown residents and businesses to set event expectations.
“We act as the communication element for all downtown stakeholders,” Bobby Funk, assistant director of the downtown partnership, said. “We try to bring all parties to the table.”
Funk said their process for planning this year’s celebration was very similar to the preparation in previous years.
“The preliminary meetings start very early on,” Funk said.
Brian Litchfield, director for Chapel Hill Transit, said the change in location on Franklin Street did not affect their planning for Halloween.
“We have to adjust our services whether it is one section of Franklin Street or the other,” Litchfield said.
There are eight bus routes that will be detoured or will end early — the CM, CW, D, F, J, NS, NU and EZ routes.
Matt Sullivan, the Chapel Hill fire chief, said there will be 45 to 50 firefighters working the event, in addition to those on duty for the rest of the town.
“We’ve been doing it a long time, so we rely on our experience to identify the anticipated risks,” he said. “It takes a lot of support for the event each year.”
Sullivan said they debrief after the celebration, then they step back and have a little breathing room to relax.
“Everybody has the same goal — to have an enjoyable Halloween,” he said. “All the folks there to have a good time carry some of that responsibility as well.”