SAN FRANCISCO—The San Francisco Police Department is warning the public to be safe as they celebrate the Chinese New Year Parade to be held on Saturday, February 23. According to the SFPD website, the parade, started in the 1860s, as a way to educate the community about the Chinese culture and is the largest Lunar New Year celebration in the country and a popular attraction in San Francisco.

There will be a substantial police presence during Lunar New Year activities, with both uniformed and plainclothes officers on duty to monitor public events.

Lunar New Year participants can avoid becoming a victim of a crime by keeping in mind the following safety tips:

-The festivities are about celebrating community. Look out for each other and report any suspicious persons or activity to event staff or a police officer. A good adage is, “If you see something, say something.” In an emergency, call 9-1-1. To provide an anonymous tip, call the SFPD Anonymous Tip Line at (415) 575- 4444.

-Stay informed by signing up for emergency text message alerts by texting the word AlertSF to 888-777. AlertSF allows us to notify you of emergencies in San Francisco.

-Keep your friends close and your drinks closer. Don’t accept drinks from strangers. Drink responsibly and don’t drink and drive- always use a designated driver.

-The San Francisco Bay Area has a host of public transit options that will get you to, from and around Lunar New Year events.

-If you drive to the festivities, remember to “Park Smart!” Take your valuables with you, don’t leave them inside your car.

-Maintain possession of your cell phone, wallet and other valuables.

-There is safety in numbers. Stay with a group when on the street or leaving bars and clubs. Be cautious about leaving a bar or club with a stranger. A rule of thumb is that if you feel “unsure” about someone, rely on that instinct and do not go with that person.

The SFPD has release a link to PSA Videos to warn the public:

The SFPD is asking members of the Chinese community to be suspicious of strangers claiming to provide relief from a curse or illness or those who provide “purification” ceremonies in which cash and valuable items must be offered as part of the process.

Anyone confronted by scammers or anyone who knows of an elder who was approached by scammers is informed to contact authorities. Reports can be made at any SFPD District Station or by calling Dispatch at (415) 553-0123 and requesting an officer to take a report.

Cantonese speakers can leave tips on a special tip line by calling (415) 553-9212 or 1-855-737-3847.

Information can be called into the Anonymous Tip Line at (415) 575-4444 or via Text a Tip by texting a message to TIP411 and beginning the message with SFPD.