Tampa Police Announce Increased Security and Education Efforts for Gasparilla Parades
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While there is no threat to Tampa or the Gasparilla parades, the Tampa Police Department is increasing security as a precautionary measure to ensure the public's safety during the annual festivities. In November 2013, members of the Massachusetts' State Police briefed TPD on its response during the Boston Bombings. From this workshop, parade commanders created a table top exercise to help train all of our Gasparilla partners including all local, state and federal agencies.
At this year's Parade of Pirates on January 25, 2014, EOD K-9's will sweep all floats and the parade route. Officers will watch over the parade route from two SkyWatch posts that are on loan from the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office and the Seminole Police Department. Mobile CCTV cameras will be deployed again along the parade route. The department is also establishing response teams to handle any unexpected incidents. The teams will be comprised of EOD Officers, members of the Tactical Response Team (TRT) and Intelligence Officers.
The department and its partners also launched a new element of the education campaign. Bright House Networks donated airtime to run a 30 second "See Something Say Something" Public Service Announcement. The video has also been shared with the public via social media and through City of Tampa Television. View PSA here
Parade goers are encouraged to download the Tampa Police Department's mobile app. If they see something suspicious, they can take a photograph and submit it directly to the parade command center through the department's new app.
Officers are providing 31 education presentations to public and private schools as well as the University of Tampa, Hillsborough Community College and MacDill Air Force Base. The Zero Tolerance program is designed and funded by our numerous community partners including Pepin Distributing, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino and the Tampa Alcohol Coalition.
The Tampa Police Department relies on generous community partners to make the Zero Tolerance education campaign a success each year.
MaryEllen Elia---Superintendent, Hillsborough County Public Schools Darrell Stefany---President, EventFest Andrea White---Bright House Networks Joe Fenlon---Middle School Director, Tampa Preparatory Ellen Snelling---Co-Chair, Tampa Alcohol Coalition Gina Firth---Associate Dean of Wellness, University of Tampa Ashley Carl---Marketing and Public Relations Director, Hillsborough Community College Gina Morales---Public Relations Manager, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Bill Giesking---Pepin Distributing