The City of Rochester is implementing new security measures for parades, special events and other large gatherings.
Officials say it’s not because of any particular threat, just a need to deal with the reality many cities are facing now.
Rochester Deputy Mayor Cedric Alexander, a former city police chief and former police official in Georgia, says he isn’t trying to scare people by announcing these new procedures.
If anything, Alexander says the new steps the city will be taking, starting with this month’s Saint Patrick’s Day parade, should provide more peace of mind to the people attending these events.
Alexander says the new security measures including additional police presence, and closing streets for a longer period of time during the parade. He says Rochester is not a small town, it’s a city, and it needs to respond to security concerns in that way.
“Everybody across the country from New York to Chicago to Miami to Houston to Dallas, you name it, everybody is upping their response in making sure they have equipment and medical personnel and that are rapidly ready to respond in the event something occurs.”
Alexander says the new security protocols also will see the Rochester fire department expanding its medical capabilities and the city’s department of environment services may park large trucks at certain intersections to prevent someone from using a vehicle in a hostile way.
He says there are no specific or credible threats; officials are just looking to be proactive when dealing with large gatherings.
Mayor Lovely Warren says that the city prides itself on world-class festivals and events that draw hundreds of thousands of people each year, and officials just want "everyone to feel safe and be safe" while they are attending these events.