Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad says security will be beefed up for Thursday’s Kentucky Derby Festival Pegasus Parade.
The announcement of the additional security measures comes after two teens were wounded by gunfire along the parade route at Fourth and Broadway during last year’s event.
Conrad says hundreds of officers will be on duty for the parade, with an extra emphasis on crowd surveillance.
He says more plainclothes officers will mingle with the parade-watchers and more technology will be utilized this year than during previous parades.
“We have more rooftop surveillance locations along the parade route,” he says. “That’s something we’ve always done but we’ve increased the number of locations. We’ve added cameras, temporary cameras, along the parade route, to have the opportunity for the staff at the real-time (control) center to see problems.”
The chief is asking parade-goers to be on the lookout for potential problems.
“If you see a problem, if you see a situation, if you see an argument that could turn into something more, please notify a nearby officer,” he says. “If you don’t see an officer nearby, please call 9-1-1. One of those plainclothes officers may be standing near you and you may not even realize it.”
Two 15-year-old boys were arrested following last year’s shooting, which Conrad says stemmed from a dispute with a 17-year-old boy, who was injured, along with a 14-year-old girl not involved in the dispute.
The Pegasus Parade is the Derby Festival’s oldest event. It was first held in 1956. Thursday’s parade starts at 5:00 p.m. This year’s theme is “Louisville on the Move.”