Each parade requires police departments to develop a plan that answers these questions:

  1. Where do the parade organizers go to organize the parade?
  2. Where are the cars parked?
  3. How does the crowd move towards the parade?
  4. Where do people gather to see the parade route?
  5. Where do we redirect the diverted traffic?
  6. How do police, fire and rescue personnel respond to emergencies on the route?
  7. Where does the procession disperse, disperse and leave the area?
  8. As an agency, how do we coordinate all of this and ensure a peaceful and safe event?

Obviously, such events require a positive partnership between the police and the parade planners, except that this partnership can consist of parade planners telling the police what they want to do and where they want to do it. The police services respond by closing the chosen route and facilitating the requests of the parade organizers. However, there are things that can be done by the courts to ensure safer parades.

1. Set a predetermined parade route for the events

Choose a predetermined parade route in your village, town or county to accommodate all major events, which is divided into sections to accommodate smaller events.

The location and configuration of the route must allow not only the event, but also parking, entry and exit of the area, secure closure of the area, as well as a detour easily accessible to traffic .

Having a predetermined route allows police and parade planners to plan only once. Once a closure and safety plan is established, the route can be reused with slight modifications for improvements after each event.

2. Establish perimeters, barricades

Safety can be taken into account for each event by:

  • Establishment of an external perimeter: The outer perimeter would use traffic cops, cones, barrels and traffic cops to divert traffic around the parade route. It also helps officers identify a problematic vehicle in case the driver tries to bypass the detour.
  • Establishment of an interior perimeter: The interior perimeter is established primarily to prevent a drunk driver or a homicide from causing death or serious bodily harm to the large group of spectators. Safety precautions for the inner perimeter can be more easily budgeted for when the identified parade route traditionally becomes established.

Portable cement barricades can be purchased, stored and reused often, for parade and other uses as well. They can be positioned to block or configured to slow vehicles trying to enter the parade route.

Other means of protecting an interior perimeter from the entrance of vehicles are the positioning of dump trucks, semi-trailers and flatbeds. They can partially or totally block a street while being easy to remove after the event. A permanent route can also be allocated to fund security cameras permanently mounted along the route.

[RELATED: Using municipal vehicles to increase security at public events]

3. Post staff

Police officers, reserve officers, and volunteers trained with radios can add extra eyes to your security efforts. Consider getting high during these events by positioning members of your sniper / observer teams for protective surveillance. It’s amazing how much area can be covered and monitored by officers with optics and communications positioned above the event, out of the organized chaos of a parade.

Plainclothes officers with communications and cameras among the crowd can not only improve the security of the event, but also provide evidence later if someone in the crowd commits a criminal act. They can position themselves near groups that present a potential problem before the end of the event. Motorized Patrol, Bike Patrol, and Mounted Patrol are great safety upgrades for parades.

It is also recommended to have a mobile response team on standby for immediate intervention at places on the route where trouble arises.


Parades are important for a village, town or town to celebrate its sense of community. It is an opportunity for close and positive contact between the citizens of the community and their police forces. It’s also an opportunity in today’s world for bad people to do bad things to the audience you serve. Make sure to keep an eye on the horizon to avoid one while taking advantage of the other.

NEXT: Event Security: 7 Best Practices to Prevent or Stop Violence



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