DALLAS (AP/CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas police and fire officials say they are trying to ensure that the 250,000 jubilant Mavericks fans expected in downtown Dallas for the team’s victory parade are safe from a myriad of potential threats within and outside the crowd.
Police insist they’re better prepared to prevent a repeat of the 1993 melee that followed a Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl parade. Police say new tactics and a heightened awareness designed to counter terrorism in a post 9/11 world will benefit the Mavericks NBA Championship victory celebration on Thursday.
Chief David Brown said he’ll take the blame if this parade goes bad.
Plainclothes cops will be in the crowd, hundreds of additional officers will be deployed along the route, and nearby tactical teams and other units can be quickly summoned.
Many of the officers got a hands on training session last year before the Super Bowl, giving them valuable experience dealing with a hostile crowd. Its training they don’t expect to need Thursday morning as people celebrate the Maverick’s NBA title.
Workers are still installing more than 22-thousand feet of barricades. And mobile command centers will hold anyone who gets arrest as well as provide first aid from the heat. The city will not discuss its security plan but says it will use twitter to communicate directly to the public.
More than 300 officers will assigned to this event along with some from other agencies. And expect to bring some extra cash if you plan to drive. The price of parking will be going up at many lots around town for the Dallas Mavericks NBA Championship parade.
Officials with Platinum Parking who own about 16,000 spaces on 30 downtown lots say they will charge 10 dollars a vehicle and expect their competitors to follow suit.
Parking operators say if you’re willing to walk a half mile or more you should be able to find spots.
The city is urging people to take DART trains and buses, but those are expected to be full also.