Rochester to add more security at events, starting at St. Patrick's Day Parade

Starting at the St. Patrick's Day Parade this year, Rochester will be adding new security measures for special events, parades and large gatherings. (WHAM photo - file)

Rochester, N.Y. (WHAM) - Going forward, the City of Rochester will have increased security measures at special events. More police officers will be on site at large events, beginning with next weekend's St. Patrick’s Day parade.

The St. Patrick’s Day parade draws an average of 60,000 people downtown. The Jazz Festival also draws huge crowds. Rochester Deputy Mayor Cedric Alexander said the higher security is meant to reassure people they can have fun while feeling safe.

Extra security measures include large trucks blocking off certain streets with big groups of people, and closing off additional roads.

The city will also be working with the Rochester Joint Terrorism Task Force to monitor cameras throughout the area. The city’s fire department will set up a triage center to treat up 50 people at a time.

The deputy mayor said he’s been working on extra security measures for about a year.

“We just want to make sure we have adequate personnel out there with the police, fire, medical. You'll see some noticeable difference and we're going to be aggressive and assertive in this city to make sure people are safe,” said Alexander.

According to the city, the increased security is not due to any specific or credible threat.

“We live in a very, very different time today - a time today where the threat grown to be very likely,” said Alexander. “That whole piece around see something, say something - that's part of the world we live in today. It's not just the big cities like New York or L.A., it's every city. We want people in the Rochester metro area to take that under advisement.”

The city is also asking people to give themselves extra time to get to the parade. Some streets that have been open in the past will now be closed for the entire parade.

For future events, Deputy Mayor Alexander said the city is also looking into purchasing drones, enhanced training for personnel and doing sporadic bag checks.

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