Florence police boost up officers for Handy Fest

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FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) - Friday night was the start of the WC Handy festival. The 10 day musical extravaganza has put the shoals area on the map.

The festival's name honors Florence’s famous musical son. The festival has grown and so has security over the last 33 years.

Florence police chief Ron Tyler says during the festival the department`s number one priority is safety.

''Our commitment has always been through the WC Handy committee that we want to focus as a police department on safety and security. So those community member and visitors to the area don`t have to be overly concerned about it,' said Tyler.

Visitors from all over the world are heading to the Shoals. That`s why police are making sure their experience is unforgettable.

''Overall we`re going to have an increased police presence. Here in the Florence area during the WC Handy festival. You may see police officers out on foot, or riding bikes, on a segway, horseback, you know motorcycle, or patrol cars. We`re going to be out in all sorts of different venues and different ways,” said Tyler.