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St. Pete Police plan to monitor Pride parade with boats, ATVs and cameras

Posted: 5:24 PM, Jun 22, 2018
Updated: 2018-06-23 00:38:33Z

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- St. Pete Police assure ABC Action News they haven't missed a single detail in the plan to protect 200,000 people at this weekend’s pride events. 

Officers will be on boats in the bay, on ATVs in the parks and dressed in regular clothes as they blend in among the crowd this weekend. St. Pete Police officers made tweaks to last year’s plan to ensure the 2018 pride events are the safest yet.

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Officers say the downtown route is much easier for them to monitor than the former route down Central Boulevard. The new route has fewer intersections and since one side is water, they have a smaller area to monitor.

Police officers will also have live surveillance watching the parade at every turn.

“It’s really an all hands on deck as far as the police department goes so I just want to reassure people that it’s a safe event," Spokesperson Yolanda Fernandez explained. 

Police officers also say they’ve spoken with the man responsible for posting a deadly threat on Facebook earlier this week . That threat claimed he would be “calling in sniper friends” to eradicate gay attendees “like cockroaches” and was posted on a media story about Pride events. Officers intend to monitor the man who posted it closely throughout the weekend.

Organizers hope you’ll help them too by watching out for anything suspicious.

“I don’t think anything is too weird. Better safe than sorry especially at these types of events,” explained Scion Crowder, who is organizing the Pride festivities.

If you see something suspicious, you can reach officers immediately by texting photos and information to T-I-P-4-1-1. Use "SPPD" in your message then explain your concerns.