Dallas police prepare for revelers at St. Patrick's Day party

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by TERESA WOODARD

WFAA

Posted on March 14, 2014 at 10:35 PM

DALLAS -- Police say they have no problem with people having fun, but when someone's behavior endangers others, they will step in at this Saturday's Dallas St. Patrick's Day Parade and Festival on Greenville Avenue.

"Intoxication, driving, being a danger to themselves and others -- it's not the safe way to play," said Deputy Chief of Dallas Police Gary Tittle.

Tittle said while the department did not change its security plan after the deadly crash at the South By Southwest Music Festival in Austin, they did review procedures. And the incident is on everyone's minds.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and all the people who were hurt down there," said Kevin Vela, Greenville Avenue Area Business Association chairman. "We discussed it this week. It's a little different, our set up at the parade. We block off streets getting to the parade. There's no traffic anywhere near where the parade is, but we're going to have over 200 DPD officers here."

Dallas police planned to shut down traffic overnight and move big barricades into place by early morning.

"Those barricades are large. We place them in strategic places, and we'll plan to have a sufficient amount of space between them and the crowd," Tittle said. "But at the same time, we cannot definitively say it will certainly not happen. There are always those slim chances and possibilities."

There's also the probability of bad weather. The forecast calls for rain on the parade and storms during the street party after.

Tittle said police will be prepared to shut down the concerts and use loud speakers and squad car sound systems to evacuate people if there is a severe weather warning.

Police did make one change to security this year. They are not allowing backpacks inside the parade or party perimeter. That decision was made after the Boston Marathon bombing.

E-mail twoodard@wfaa.com

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