The Birmingham Police Department (BPD) ramped up security measures for a major sporting event last week and reported zero tournament-related crimes despite the city's ongoing crime epidemic.

Birmingham hosted the first and second rounds of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament on March 16 and 18. There were six games in total, which took place at Legacy Arena. 

During the event, the BPD deployed extra officers, K9s and tactical operations to the area around the arena, according to reports. They also advised spectators to lock their vehicles and partnered with Jefferson County Sheriff's Office (JCSO). 

Leaders from the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Center (BJCC) told WBRC that law enforcement did not confiscate any weapons. There were also no car break-ins, and JCSO reported no tournament-related crimes.

Last year was Birmingham's most bloody year since the early 1990s. Birmingham suffered over 140 homicides, several resulting from stray bullets fired in drive-by-shootings. Multiple homicide victims were minors. 

In January, MoneyGreek listed Birmingham as one of the most unsafe cities in the United States.

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin said that the homicides were mainly a result of conflict between people who knew each other. Some have suggested that the violence is a result of gang warfare.

In September, Woodfin called on gangs to "chill out and put the guns down" following a spree of murders over Labor Day weekend.

During the World Games this summer, Homeland Security Investigators (HSI) arrested over 58 individuals on charges of crimes like soliciting sex, human trafficking, drug felonies and impersonating a police officer.

Though the World Games was projected to bring a plethora of visitors to the city, only 13,521 people actually traveled to Birmingham, and the vast majority of them were from Alabama. 

Before the event, the Special Events Assessment Rating (SEAR) gave World Games 2022 a Level One rating, often referred to as "Super Bowl-level." The city brought in federal and state agencies to help with the security efforts.

To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email or find him on Twitter and Facebook.

Don't miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.