That was the concern for the city of Cleveland as fans swarmed the downtown area yesterday to celebrate their Cavaliers winning the NBA Finals. It was the largest event in that city’s history.
There were so many people that they spilled into the streets along the route. This slowed things down to a crawl, according to ESPN.com, as the parade took four hours to travel only 1.3 miles.
One of the reasons for the huge turnout is the sports history of Cleveland. The last professional championship there was in 1964 when the Cleveland Browns won a NFL World Championship. That was before the Super Bowl era.
Over the years there have been a number of near misses when a championship ring seemed close, but ended up being just out of reach. Decades of pent-up frustration and Sunday’s NBA victory brought these Cleveland fans out to celebrate.
The security for the event was much higher than others held downtown in the past. As officials began to plan, they expected about 500,000 to attend. Their estimates were a bit low.
As NewsNet5.com reports police used security cameras, bomb sniffing dogs, motorcycle units and horse mounted police to keep things secure. There were also uniformed and ununiformed police on duty and in an attempt to keep rowdy fans under control, WKYC.com reports no coolers were allowed in the city, either.
Rapid transit was expected to be a major mover of people into the city. So riders experienced bag searches by security guards and had walked through metal detectors before leaving the station.
Crowds started gathering downtown about 8:00am. The parade kicked off late, close to noon. The rally was also delayed because of the extended time for the parade to get through the crowd. When it was all said and done, it was an all day event lasting to 5:00pm.
Throughout the day, there were no real problems to report. As crowds began to work their way back to the RTA station at Tower City after the rally, though, there was a fight between two teenage boys. One pulled out a gun and fired, hitting a nearby 13-year-old girl in both legs. The shooter was arrested and he faces felonious assault charges, along with other gun-related offenses.
With over 1.3 million fans roaming around downtown Cleveland, it was the only major arrest of the day. For the most part, police and private security kept Cleveland fans safe and under control.
Whether it is additional police for a victory parade, or additional security guards for some other event, human security on the scene is often the best solution. While technology helps, nothing can replace the effectiveness of having police or security guards onsite deterring bad behavior, making quick decisions and taking the correct action.
Are you planning an event for the summer? Contact American Security Force today at 877-722-8585. We can help you plan the security for your event to keep your attendees safe.