Palm Springs police sought to put the community at ease Tuesday following yet another tragic mass shooting event in America on Monday.
Driving the news: A gunman in Highland Park, Ill., killed seven people and injured dozens during a Fourth of July parade. That caused concern among those who participate in and attend the city’s annual Pride Parade in November.
- The Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism estimates that 125,000 people come to town for Pride each year.
What to know: PSPD Lt. Gustavo Araiza said city law enforcement personnel has been on high alert during major public events for years and that intense planning occurs well before events begin. That planning involves numerous local agencies.
- Araiza said staffing levels depend on the layout of the venue and what police have to cover, as well as if there are any known threats to the event.
- Cathedral City and Indio police departments provide resources through the regional SWAT Team.
- In past Pride parades, it was common to see officers appear along the parade route in vehicles and outside, helping direct traffic away from the route and having officers on hand in an emergency.
Zoom out: In light of the hundreds of mass shootings in the nation each year, PSPD is one of many departments that had to re-evaluate their public safety plans.
- “We started evaluating the need for increased public venue security after the route 91 Harvest Music Festival in Las Vegas. That led to the development of our Designated Marksmen Group,” said Lt. Araiza
Specialized team: The Designated Marksmen Group can be seen on nearby buildings’ roofs during special events. Lt. Araiza said they are there to report any suspicious activity to personnel providing security at the event.
- “We will likely have them deployed at Pride,” Araiza said. “We had members of the team deployed at the Fourth of July event yesterday.”