Orlando mass shooting prompts extra security measures for SF Pride celebration
SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - City officials in San Francisco announced security changes on Monday in regards to the SF Pride celebration this weekend.
The precautions come on the heels of the massacre at a gay night club in Orlando, which has been called the worst mass shooting by one individual in U.S. history.
Anyone attending the SF Pride celebration at Civic Center Plaza on Saturday or Sunday will be subject to extra scrutiny at the gates. Attendees must pass through security screening and metal detectors to get into the celebration. Some could be subject to hand-held wands.
"It appears that we will have even more people that will come to our Pride celebration throughout the weekend, and that is a good, good thing," San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said on Monday.
San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener said the attack on a gay club in Orlando prompted the extra security measures.
“I think most people do not understand the level of violence everyday against the LGBT community. It’s amazing that we can get married, but if we can get married and we’re still getting assaulted and killed, it doesn’t mean very much,” Wiener said.
Small bags are permitted, but will be checked.
San Francisco Police said they will increase staffing by 20 to 25 percent. They plan to add K9’s, undercover officer, SWAT and receive help from local and federal agencies.
SFPD will also issue mandatory overtime for some officers. Vacation days will only be granted with approval from a deputy chief.
With Orlando's mass shooting fresh in the minds of many, safety is key this pride season. That's why for the first time ever at a San Francisco pride event, metal detectors will be installed at Civic Center Plaza. Some say this is long overdue.
"You go to a sports event there are metal detectors. You go to the airport there are metal detectors. People should just get used to it, when you have a large group of people it should just be common place," says Q-Bar general manager Cip Cipriano. "There's going to be lots of security here so we do ask that everybody that shows up take some patience and know that they're going to wait in line a little bit longer than they have in previous years."
Police are encouraging the public to sign up for “Alert SF” by texting 888-7777 to receive information about emergencies.