St. Petersburg Police Chief: Pride Weekend Will be a Safe Event

Some very big crowds are expected for this weekend's St. Pete Pride events, and police chief Anthony Holloway is promising that everything will be safe.

He says officers are not aware of any threats, but he is asking people to speak up if they see something suspicious. "If it doesn't look right to you," Holloway said, "don;t say 'aww, you know what, I'm not sure.' Call it in, let us assess what it is. If we need to go talk to someone, we will."

St. Pete Pride President Tiffany Freisberg said she's grateful for the community support. "There has been some (state) legislation that is concerning to our community," Freisberg said. "and so to see this level of support is really heartening. Our number 1 priority is to make sure this is a safe event."

Chief Holloway said it will be "all hands on deck" for his officers this weekend. All points of view will be accomodated with what Holloway calls a "free speech zone."

"If you cause a disturbance, we're going to make sure we end it right then and there. We will take you to jail. Period."

The weekend begins with a concert at the Pier tomorrow, then the 20th anniversary Pride Festival and Parade beginning at 2 pm on Saturday. The parade route will run from Vinoy Park to Albert Whitted along Bayshore Drive.

photo image: Getty Images

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