Keeping outdoor venues safe

Following Waukesha Christmas parade incident
Published: Nov. 22, 2021 at 8:41 PM PST
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SPARKS, Nev. (KOLO) -The city of Waukesha, confirming dozens are hurt and 5 people have died after a driver intentionally drove through a crowd at the Waukesha Christmas parade.

The incident is hitting close to home, as the City of Sparks is preparing for the 34th Annual Hometowne Christmas parade and Tree Lighting event next month.

Sparks police chief Chris Crawforth says a number of safety measures have already been put in place following other incidents such as the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival shooting in Las Vegas.

In ground barricades on Victorian Ave in Sparks
In ground barricades on Victorian Ave in Sparks(KOLO)

He says the City of Sparks has a number of temporary roadblocks and even permanent barricades to stop vehicles from entering major streets and congregated areas.

“Depending on the size of the crowds of where the events are located and where the people will be depends on where the barricades will go,” said Chief Crawforth.

Sparks transportation manager Amber Sosa says this planning process started back in 2019 and the city completed the first phase in May 2020.

“We did take a phase approach for a couple reasons, definitely to demonstrate the equipment to see how it works, not only for safety but it’s also for our crews setting it up,” explained Sosa.

The city of Sparks has scanned the entire downtown corridor and even side streets to assess where the current barriers are now, so you can expect to see future construction around that area as more blockades will be put in place.

“We have some more mobile trailers being purchased,” added Sosa. “We have a lot of flexibility with those to put up on side streets and different entrances as well as bollards,” explained Sosa. “Those are permanent in ground bollards that are designed to stay there and stop any wide openings.”

The city of Sparks is in the design stage of the second phase with a construction date targeted for Spring 2022.

Chief Crawforth says you can also count on a secure police presence during the City’s outdoor venues, a swat team is always ready to deploy in case of emergencies.

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