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Police prep for local parades after Wisconsin horror

Christmas Parade SUV
Posted at 4:57 PM, Nov 22, 2021

CINCINNATI — Police and city leaders are reviewing security plans for holiday parades here in the Tri-State one day after a driver broke through parade barricades, killing five and hurting more than 40 people in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

Thursday, thousands will be attending the Thanksgiving Day Parade in Price Hill.

Organizers there say they will have more sturdy, permanent barriers. They say police cruisers will block those barriers and surround the parade.

“Looking at the crowd, it's amazing how crowded it is really,” Kristi Ficker said of the Price Hill Thanksgiving parade.

Ficker's son will take part with his Elder High School marching band.

Hamilton County Commissioner Denise Driehaus is the Grand Marshall.

“It's a Thanksgiving tradition in the Price Hill community, but really all over the West Side, because people come from all over the West Side to participate in the parade," said Driehaus.

However, they are not oblivious to the horror that unfolded states away over the weekend.

Cincinnati Police wrote in a statement: “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the individuals who were killed.”

Cincinnati experienced a similar event at Octoberfest in 1999. Police say a drunk driver drove through a posted barricade, striking and hurting 27 people.

Police say they learned valuable lessons from the tragedy.

The department says it continues to improve and review strategies.

CPD sent this list of tactics to harden soft targets and increase safety:

  • Target harden vent sites with re-enforced barricades
  • Installation of steel and concrete bollards around the Banks for frequently scheduled events
  • When possible, increase the buffer zone away from the event site
  • Tow vehicles off event routes
  • Restrict movement of all vehicles within the event site
  • Utilize cameras to monitor movement and activities

Organizer of the Price Hill Thanksgiving Day Parade Cindy Armstrong said, “We’re doing anything we possibly can to keep everyone safe.”

Driehaus does not expect attendance to wane.

“You know, people stand outside their homes, outside businesses and churches with their hot chocolate and their coffee and their kids and watch this parade year after year, and I have a lot of confidence that people will show up,” said Driehaus.

The City of Fairfield holds the next big parade on Saturday. It’s called the Parade of Lights.

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