Police Use RNC Equipment to Keep Gasparilla Safe and Enforce Zero Tolerance PolicyMembers of the RNC Bike Team Reunite to Patrol Gasparilla

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DATE/TIME:  January 17, 2013 at 2 p.m.

LOCATION: Tampa Police Headquarters, 411 North Franklin Street


Tampa Police officers will utilize equipment purchased for the RNC to enhance this year’s safety plan for the Gasparilla parades. The department is reuniting members of the multi-jurisdictional RNC bike patrol team to increase its visibility in crowded areas that are hard to reach in police cruisers. These officers will be on hand to serve as guides for out of town visitors and parade goers who are in need of assistance. Officers will also take to the streets in electric vehicles from the RNC, such as Segways, T3’s and Bobcats, to patrol neighborhoods along the route more effectively. The RNC mobile CCTV cameras will be activated along the parade route to keep Gasparilla a family friendly event.

These RNC resources will be used to enforce a one-year-old law that allows officers to issue citations for open containers instead of arresting individuals drinking alcohol outside the designated wet zones. Adults with open containers of alcohol in unauthorized areas will receive a citation: $75 for first offense, $150 for second offense, $300 for third offense and $450 for fourth offense.
The City of Tampa, Tampa Police Department and its education partners have launched an extensive campaign to remind the community of the zero tolerance policy during Gasparilla 2013. Tampa Police Officer Roy Paz is presenting the zero tolerance program to schools in Hillsborough County. The department sent a video of this presentation to all middle and high schools in Hillsborough County, University of Tampa, Hillsborough Community College, University of South Florida, University of Central Florida and Stetson University College of Law. The video can be viewed on YouTube http://youtu.be/8YhpzAWsTu8 and on the City of Tampa’s television station.

Educational Campaign
• All households with a high school aged child will receive a recorded phone message from Mayor Buckhorn and Superintendent MaryEllen Elia advising parents of our zero tolerance policy. This message can be heard on YouTube http://youtu.be/8YhpzAWsTu8
• Public service announcements on local radio stations
• Digital billboards with zero tolerance policy posted throughout the Bay Area
• Posters at area businesses

Alcohol can only be consumed in approved areas along the parade route and this will be strictly enforced. Please refer to the map for the alcohol zones. No drinking in the neighborhoods, on the way to the parade and ABSOLUTELY NO UNDERAGE DRINKING.

Educational Campaign Partners: Pepin Distributing, EventFest, Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla, Tampa Alcohol Coalition, Hillsborough County Schools, Hillsborough Community College, University of Tampa, Tampa Preparatory School, Clear Channel, Anheuser-Busch, Hillsborough County State Attorney’s Office and MacDill Air Force Base

2012 Gasparilla Arrests- Total 365
Open Container Citations: 302
Underage Drinking: 27
BUI: 8
Other Arrests: 28

2011 Gasparilla Arrests- Total 342
Alcohol Arrests: 277
Under Age Drinking: 43
BUI: 10
Other Arrests: 12