SAN FRANCISCO—San Francisco’s Pride Week began Monday, June 20 and will run through Sunday, June 26. San Francisco’s Pride Week celebrations are the largest in the U.S. with an estimated 1 million people expected to attend the festivities, safety is a priority for the San Francisco Police Department, according to a press release from the SFPD.
“The San Francisco Police Department joins the LGBTQ community in celebrating Pride Week,” said Acting SFPD Police Chief Toney Chaplin. “Along with our City partners, we are working with many groups in a spirit of cooperation and good-will to make the 2016 Pride Week a safe and enjoyable event as possible for all. By working together we can make this a Safe Pride!”
Both uniformed and plain clothes officers will be on duty to monitor the events, and the SFPD wants to remind those in attendance that safety is everyone’s responsibility. This includes participants, organizers, security staff and law enforcement.
A reminder from the SFPD is that even though the Castro District will be open for business during the celebrations, there are no organized events being held on Castro Street. This means that there will be no street closures and law prohibiting possession of open containers of alcoholic beverages and drinking in public will still be enforced in the Castro District.
The following security measures will be in place during the Pride Festival:
-Celebrants attending the Pride festival in Civic Center will be screened by either walk through metal detectors or hand held “wands” and are subject to additional searches of their person and possessions. Please allow extra time to pass though security check points. You can help reduce delays at check points by leaving unnecessary items at home.
-Bags are discouraged. If you must bring a bag, it can be no larger than 18 inches x 18 inches. Bags are subject to search and there are no lockers for storage of oversize bags.
-Alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase inside the venue and Pride Organizers have a 100 percent ID check policy. No outside alcohol will be allowed into the venue and possession of open containers or consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited on City streets.
-The San Francisco Police Department has increased staffing for Pride weekend. The public should expect to see a significant police presence including members of the Special Operations Group who will be mobile in the area of the Parade and Festival. The Department is also working closely with our State and Federal law enforcement partners to make the events as safe as possible.
Attendants can help prevent becoming a victim of a crime by using these safety tips:
-Pride is about 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 Pride events.
-Maintain possession of your cell phone, wallet and other valuables.
-There is safety in numbers, so stay as 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 another, rely on that instinct and do not go with that person.
SFPD Safety Measures For Pride Week was originally published on San Francisco News