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500,000 people will be in downtown KC to celebrate the Chiefs. Here’s how to stay safe

It’s a logistical security challenge.

About 500,000 spectators. City center street blocks. An entire roster of National Football League teams.

But it’s a challenge Kansas City officials say they have handled, with hundreds of law enforcement officers from the Kansas City Police Department and more than 25 other Missouri and Kansas agencies working on security at the victory parade. of Super Bowl Wednesday, which begins at noon on Grand Boulevard and Sixth Street.

It will travel south on Grand until it reaches Pershing Road, when the parade will turn right and head towards Union Station.

A victory rally will begin at Union Station at 1:45 p.m., and the National WWI Museum and Memorial will host viewing opportunities on its north lawn.

Officials said the event will be “family-friendly” and public consumption of alcohol is prohibited. The sergeant. Jake Becchina, a police department spokesman, said in an email that parade officers will try to protect attendees while still allowing everyone to celebrate and have fun.

Officers will monitor a number of potential problems, including crowd and traffic control, assisting emergency vehicles if needed, and encouraging the patience of parade attendees leading up to the parade.

At major events like the Victory Parade, former FBI Special Agent Michael Tabman said police focus on having a strong presence so crowds feel safe and others are deterred from trespassing. the law. They will also look out for anyone behaving suspiciously, respond to suggestions from any interested participants, and possibly monitor posts on public social media.

A major disturbance isn’t likely at the victory parade, Tabman said, but law enforcement agencies are trying to mitigate any issues they think could lead to bigger problems.

“Everyone might be there to have a good time, and very few people have any intentions of harm,” Tabman said, “but it takes just one wrong push or someone accidentally bumping into someone that could spark a fight. The fight spreads and before you know it, it becomes more of a riot than an event.

While officials are working to keep the event safe, Becchina also said officers have been reminded to have fun and interact with community members. During the Super Bowl victory parade in 2020, she said officials protected fans from a car chase that moved down the parade route, while also finding time to cheer, play and celebrate.

“Chief (Stacey) Graves met with all of the command staff and encouraged them to instill in their crews fun while remaining professional and keeping everyone SAFE, first and foremost,” Becchina said. “Officials will be able to wear Chiefs hats as a way to show support and celebrate with the crowd for the Chiefs’ great season and big Superbowl win.”

The department has also published various safety tips for attendees.

Along the way there will be nine child reunification centers for families who lose children. Officials recommend taking a photo of your child in their attire on the day of the parade and writing the contact information of a parent or guardian on a bracelet or on each child’s arm so that family members are easier to find.

With limited parking available, public transport, taxis, and ridesharing services are recommended. Complimentary shuttle services are available at specific locations in Jackson and Johnson counties.

As crowds will impact cell service, families and groups should choose a meeting point in advance in case they are separated.

Fans should expect large crowds and long wait times getting in and out of downtown during the day. Johnson County officials said parade-goers taking an available free shuttle from Oak Park Mall should expect commute times of at least 90 minutes to get to Kansas City.

Most importantly, Tabman said attendees should be patient with each other and follow officials’ rules to stay safe.

“If you don’t like the rules, don’t go,” he said. “Don’t show up expecting to argue with police officers and get in their face. This will only bring trouble.

If there is a disturbance, Tabman said the best thing anyone can do is move in the opposite direction.

The forecast ahead of the parade is that it should be a cool, dry day with a light breeze.

“Wednesday looks like a great day for a parade,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Pamela Pietrycha.

Public consumption of alcohol is prohibited at the event, which officials say is family-friendly. Participants were encouraged to travel light and not to bring bags or backpacks.

For up-to-date information on the parade and celebration, visit the parade website at www.chiefsparade.com, sign up for text alerts from AlertKC by texting KCPARADE to 888-777, or follow @KansasCity and @SportKC on Twitter or find them on Facebook and Instagram.

The Star also has guides to help you find the best spots along the parade route and hotels and parking lots around town.

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