Hundreds of officers expected for Mega March 2017 in downtown Dallas

Dallas Mega March means larger amounts of law enforcement present

DALLAS - Mega March 2006 drew 500,000 people to downtown Dallas with no problems.

Organizer Domingo Garcia expects the same for Mega March 2017.

"We expect to have a very safe and uneventful march. In 2006 half-a-million people attended there were no arrests, not one incident and we plan to repeat that,” said Garcia.

Garcia says his group has hired off-duty security officers and has trained 100 volunteers on crowd control.

The organizers have also been working with Dallas PD.

"We are bringing in hundreds," Garcia said. "It will be a combination of on-duty and off-duty."

The police department will have officers everywhere looking for any signs of trouble. Unlike past marches, for which Dallas PD kept a low profile, this time there will be a strong show of force.

On everyone's mind is what happened on July 7, when a peaceful protest was interrupted with violence by a lone gunman who ambushed police officers. Four Dallas Police officers and one DART officer were killed.

So, on Sunday, officers will have their riot gear and high-powered rifles.

"We will also have a contingent of body camera officers for capturing intelligence and information," said Assistant Chief Santos Cadena. "So we will have a combination of rifle and body camera trained officers."

Police are prepared for counter protesters, including open carry groups.

Organizers urge people to leave their weapons at home and bring their patriotism instead.

"This is a peaceful march," Garcia said. "This is a march [for which] we are asking everyone to dress in red, white and blue for the American flag and to only bring American flags because it's really about American values."

Dallas police said they feel confident the march will go off without any problems. Organizers do, too.

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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