Street. PETERSBURG, FL (CW44 News At 10) – St. Petersburg police are gearing up for their annual Pride Festival this weekend, by ramping up security and safety measures.
St Pete Police will have area watch crews along Bayshore Road. They will also have up to 70 security cameras installed along the parade route to check for suspicious activity.
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“If you’re going to cause a disorder where you’re disorganized, or cause some kind of commotion, or a fight or anything, we’re going to take you to jail,” said Saint Petersburg police chief Anthony Holloway.
It’s a plan to keep Pride’s weekend safe in Saint Petersburg.
“We will have police officers in uniform and also in civilian clothes working in detail, and we will have additional cameras that will be installed along the parade route also during the concert for this event. We will also receive an intelligence report from our district intelligence unit,” Holloway said.
Holloway says the entire police force will be on duty.
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“We always look at do we have enough resources this year. We’re celebrating our Pride 20th anniversary, so we want to make sure this is a safe environment, so the only way we’re going to do that is to make sure we have enough resources here,” Holloway said.
“There has been some legislation that matters to our community, so seeing that level of support is really heartening,” said Tiffany Friesberg of St Pete Pride.
100,000 people are expected to attend the Pride Parade. It will run along Bayshore Road near St Pete’s Quay with free speech areas. Holloway says the sidewalk will be closed to vehicles starting at 2 p.m. Saturday.
“We’ve seen all over the country where cars either tried to walk into the show and hurt people, or they accidentally entered the show and hurt someone,” Holloway said.
Freisberg says she hopes this weekend will go smoothly.
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“Our number one priority is to make sure we create a safe event,” Freisberg said.