Cities highlight safety for holiday crowds

Authorities across the country are stressing the safety precautions they have taken when large crowds gather for holiday events, urging the public to remain vigilant when reporting anything suspicious.

The fatal crash in Waukesha, Wisconsin over the weekend when a driver rushed into a holiday parade, killing six and injuring dozens more, has raised safety fears about other holiday events in the coming weeks, when expect people to venture out. after staying home for much of the past year.

While police said this week that there is no evidence that the Waukesha incident was linked to terrorism (the suspect, Darrell Brooks, 39, has been charged with intentional homicide), experts warn that the potential for violence increases. as the crowds gather more frequently this year.

“Everyone in America who has parades planned today is going to review their contingency plans,” said Fred Burton, executive director of the Ontic Center for Protective Intelligence. He added that organizers want to “make sure they have adequate security plans in place.”

Police in several major cities said they are monitoring possible threats heading into the Christmas season.

In Milwaukee, about 20 miles from Waukesha, a police department spokesman said the agency has worked with event planners to “ensure that there is a safety plan that is most appropriate for each parade on a case-by-case basis.”

Officials in Philadelphia, which is home to the longest Thanksgiving Day parade in the country, expressed confidence in the city’s safety precautions following the deadly accident in Waukesha.

The Philadelphia Police Department “assesses each of the city’s major events and works closely with event organizers throughout the planning process to ensure the safety of participants and spectators,” a spokesperson said.

A spokesman for the Washington, DC Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) said officials are monitoring any potential threats this holiday season, but said they are not aware of credible threats to the city.

The police “urge our community to report any suspicious behavior to the proper authorities. MPD maintains a level of preparedness that would allow it to adequately respond to any emerging concerns that may arise if necessary, “the spokesperson added.

In New York City, which is home to the largest Christmas parade, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, police say they have been working on safety plans since last year.

“The layers of security and protection that we will provide this year have been in the planning stages since the end of the parade last year,” New York Police Department (NYPD) spokesman Sergeant Edward Riley told The Hill.

“As we do every year, the NYPD will deploy roadblock cars, Sanitation trucks filled with sand, police from the Critical Response Command specifically assigned to counterterrorism tasks, as well as officers from the Strategic Response Group, police officers on patrol and the Security Services Unit. Emergency, “Riley said. “There is a complex counterterrorism overlap with a hardened route and there will also be many things that the public will not see.”

The Waukesha incident drew strong comparisons to a 2016 attack in Nice, France, when a truck slammed into a crowd celebrating Bastille Day, killing 86 people. French President Emmanuel MacronEmmanuel Jean-Michel Macron Harris communications director to depart next month Harris commemorates 2015 Paris attack with flowers Harris says she and Macron did not discuss sub-agreement that caused rift MORE labeled the terrorism incident. And in 2018 in Toronto, Canada, a vehicle collided with pedestrians and killed 11 people. The driver was considered a domestic terrorist.

Burton, a former special agent for diplomatic security, said incidents like the fatal accident in Wisconsin remind people of the potential danger that could occur at mass gatherings, but cautioned against linking such events. Officials have emphasized that they do not believe Sunday’s incident is related to terrorism.

The violence in Waukesha followed days of tensions in other parts of Wisconsin over the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, who shot and killed two protesters and wounded a third during protests last year. A jury in Kenosha, about 55 miles from Waukesha, found Rittenhouse not guilty, a decision that sparked protests in the city and across the country.

President BidenJoe BidenKyle Rittenhouse: No Money Traded For Tucker Carlson Interview, Overnight Energy & Environment Documentary Series – Biden To Release 50 Million Barrels Of Oil Reserve On The Money – Biden: America Should ‘Rest Easy’ On Prices MORE urged the people in Kenosha to demonstrate peacefully while the Governor of Wisconsin. Tony eversTony EversBiden urges Americans to express their views on Rittenhouse’s verdict ‘peacefully’ Jury finds Kyle Rittenhouse not guilty of all charges Wisconsin Governor vetoes redistribution of maps, calls them ‘gerrymandering 2.0’ MORE (D) also stressed the need to keep protests safe.

In response to the Waukesha incident, Biden said his administration is monitoring the situation and prayed for the victims and their families.

Biden noted that “the people of Waukesha came together to celebrate the beginning of a season of hope, togetherness and thanksgiving” before the violence broke out.

“This morning, Jill and I and the entire Biden family – and, I’m sure, all of us – pray that that same spirit embraces and lifts up all the victims of this tragedy, bringing comfort to those who are recovering from their injuries and enveloping to the families of those who died in support of their community, ”he said.

The White House has not anticipated any trips for the president to visit Waukesha.

Burton of the Ontic Center for Protective Intelligence said that while event planners are right to redouble security efforts for holiday gatherings after the Waukesha accident, he stressed the importance of people not avoiding such events due to concerns about a similar incident.

“I think everyone needs to live their life and not be ruled by fear,” he said.

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