Kerr County law enforcement gears up for record-breaking eclipse crowd

Local residents are advised to stay home due to anticipated traffic challenges

KERRVILLE, Texas – Traffic control and crowd management will be the most difficult tasks law enforcement in Kerr County expects to face during next week’s solar eclipse.

Sheriff Larry Leitha said it’s difficult to predict how things will go, but they are trying to ensure they have the resources available all over the county.

“Every badge we have will be working,” he said.

That’s more than 55 deputies and an additional 20 Texas Department of Public Safety troopers and possibly an air life helicopter.

“What I like [DPS] to do is handle the interstate because if the interstate shuts down, then we’re going to have problems,” Leitha said. “Our deputies are going to be strategically put out throughout the county in two-man units.”

Emergency Management Coordinator William Dub Thomas has been preparing for the double, maybe even triple, population in the county for the one-day event for over two years.

He is asking residents to stay home.

“Traffic’s going to be a real challenge, especially on Monday,” Thomas said. “If you need to travel during the weekend or even on Monday, try to take the back roads if you can.”

Kerrville Police Sgt. Jonathan Lamb said every officer in the department will be deployed across the city to ensure they can respond to calls quickly.

While life emergency calls will take priority, the city has also hired additional officers from the San Antonio area to fill in.

“Without a doubt, it’s probably the biggest event that Kerrville will ever see. Certainly in my lifetime, where we just have the most people come for, you know, for one day, basically,” Lamb said.

“There’s just so many moving parts to this, you know, we’ve partnered with, the fire department, sheriff’s department, the county, TxDOT a lot of outside agencies and just working together to to be as prepared as possible,” he said.

Law enforcement has prepared exit routes to get people out of the county as quickly as possible. However, it may take hours for some vehicles to exit, so they urge those visiting to bring extra fuel, water, food and necessary medications.

“For the folks that are coming in, just understand that we’re a small community here and that we don’t have a lot of resources,” Thomas said. “So if you think you need something, you might ought to bring it with you.”

About the Authors

Patty Santos joined the KSAT 12 News team in July 2017. She has a proven track record of reporting on hard-hitting news that affects the community.

Gavin Nesbitt is a photojournalist and video editor who joined KSAT in September 2021. He has traveled across the great state of Texas to film, conduct interviews and edit many major news stories, including the White Settlement church shooting, Hurricane Hanna, 2020 presidential campaigns, Texas border coverage and the Spurs.

Recommended Videos