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SDPD constantly assessing security ahead of large San Diego events

San Diego Pride and Comic-Con are just weeks away
Posted at 4:57 PM, Jul 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-05 20:16:19-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — The first full-scale return of the San Diego Pride Parade and Festival since the pandemic is just weeks away. Like every year, security will be tight.

Fernando Lopez is the executive director. "You can't put on an event of this scale, it's the largest civic event in the region without coordinating every single year with local and federal agencies," said Lopez.

The mass shooting at the Fourth of July Parade in Highland Park, Illinois might have some questioning the safety at local large events. Pride celebrations kick off July 15 and Comic-Con is happening later this month, but San Diego Police say fear is not the answer. 

"I don't think people should be afraid, I think they should be aware, I think awareness is a big component of that," said Lt. Adam Sharki.

Lt. Sharki says much of that awareness happens long before an actual event. 

"Before these events happen we are looking for any tips or leads that come from the community, we're looking at social media to see if people are making any threats or concerning statements," said Lt. Sharki.

RELATED: Collaboration brings healing: Pride and Law Enforcement walk together again

Sharki says people shouldn't second guess themselves if they see something that doesn't seem right.
 
"If it's enough for someone to take a double-take and say that's really concerning, or wow that seems really concerning, give the police department a call or you can submit a tip or lead anonymously," said Lt. Sharki.

The department is down 160 officers, but Sharki says officers will be reassigned to make sure the big events are fully staffed. 

"Those are just the uniformed officers that you see, that doesn't include officers who are behind the scenes or who are in plain clothes," said Lt. Sharki.

Last month during a Pride event in Idaho, police arrested 31 members of a white supremacist group. Police say the group was planning a riot. 

Lopez says safety has been a concern for years.

"The LGBTQ community has been under attack and a targeted community for a very long time. The safety, intense amount of safety procedures that go into putting on an event, the largest civic event in the region, are there every single year to make sure we are safe and we are protected," said Lopez.