The Huntsville Police Department prepared for WhistleStop 2017

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - The Huntsville Police Department is already gearing up for WhistleStop 2017 and their special operations division is prepared. The unit is made up of both full and part time officers.

"With so many special events going on around town our special operations division does a great job. This time of year those guys get a lot of overtime and comp time, because they are required to work outside of their shift because of a lot of extra events such as WhistleStop," Lt. Stacy Bates said.

Lt. Bates said besides police vehicles you can expect to see the bike patrol out too. "We really use our bike patrol a lot to get into those events. This gives us a lot better coverage and more officers in there where we can`t get a car to fit. Lt. Bates explained.

Officers shifts for the festival started early Thursday morning because crews immediately began shutting down roads and the back up traffic soon followed.

Click here to see what roads will be closed Thursday through Sunday.

HPD is asking people to be aware of their surroundings while they are out driving in Downtown Huntsville. "Just be mindful of your surroundings. Look for pedestrians, cars that may be going slower, just kind of give yourself that extra distance. And just pay attention to what`s going on,"Lt. Bates said.