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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – This weekend expect more Dallas Police and Homeland Security stationed along the Dallas Gay Pride Parade.
The parade route comes straight down Cedar Springs, there will be extra patrols, some of them you will see and some you won’t.
Felix Quijano will have a front row seat to the parade, but from behind glass. “I’ll be watching through the big window even though I’m supposed to be working.”
Hunky’s Old Fashion Hamburgers added more staff this weekend to prepare for the hundreds that will flood the Oak Lawn area for the festival.
Organizers say, expect more police too.
Last year, problems started just hours after the parade when a group of four men jumped a gay man.
No arrests were made, but police investigated it as a hate crime. A string of similar crimes followed.
“It’s been sad to see everything that has been happening.” says Quijano, he’s been attacked before and feels the pain for those victims.
But this year’s parade will be different. You will see many officers out on the street, but Homeland Security will be there too, and that you won’t see at all.
“Sometimes I worry about where do I walk? Where do I go? But if there is more security here I actually feel safer.” comments Quijano.
In addition, there are some other changes to make you safer, only clear bags will be allowed and no tents on the sidewalk.
“I think for our officers to be able to see exactly what is going on is going to be a huge factor.” says Andrew Kochie. He appreciates the efforts to keep this event fun and secure and more importantly the police presence he’s felt in Oak Lawn ever since last year’s attack
“We have a lot better presence now and it seems there has been a reduction in the crime.”
The Dallas Gay Pride Parade will start at 2 o’clock Sunday afternoon.
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