Tampa Police Announce Security and Education Efforts for Gasparilla Parades
Watch the full news conference here on YouTube
While there are no current threats to Tampa or the Gasparilla parades, the Tampa Police Department is continuing increased security this year as a precautionary measure to ensure the public’s safety during the annual festivities. At this year’s Parade of Pirates on January 31, 2015, 40 bike officers will fan out through the neighborhoods and along the parade route. EOD K-9’s will sweep all floats and the parade route before the event begins. 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 also be deployed along the parade route. The department has also established 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. 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 mobile app. They can also use TPD’s social media to relay information - @TampaPD both on Facebook and Twitter. Over the past five years, TPD officers have provided education presentations on the zero tolerance program to over 50,000 students and military personnel. This year, we’ll be presenting to 28 schools and groups. 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: Hillsborough County Public Schools, EventFest, Tampa Preparatory, Tampa Alcohol Coalition, University of Tampa, Hillsborough Community College, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and Pepin Distributing.