Shreveport Mardi Gras Parades: Do We Have Enough Cops to Be Safe?
Corky Bridges from the Krewe of Centaur talks about this weekend's parade and concerns about whether the SPD can provide the security necessary.
A number of officers have expressed their own worries that the Shreveport Police, already facing manpower shortages, will be able to provide the numbers provided in previous years.
"It's also a concern of ours," Bridges begins, "Our biggest concern is safety. That was always one of the talking points when we were negotiating contracts this year with the city...the number of police personnel at our disposal.
"I think what you're going to see this year is a collaboration...of city and other law enforcement agencies locally addressing that.
And will the earlier 3pm start time - and an early evening finish - aid police with parade security? "Obviously, that's an unknown," says Bridges, "It really depends on the crowd, the number of people at the parade, the logistics of the parade itself. I think we're going to reach 100 units (floats) by Saturday, (along with) that many participants and walking groups."
And Bridges expresses confidence that this year's parade will come off without a hitch. "Our parade chairman is in constant communication with SPAR...there's nothing wild and crazy that's been thrown at us and one of the things that Centaur does well is put on a parade on the streets of Shreveport. And we haven't seen any roadblocks.
"I'll give it to the city of Shreveport and Centaur, this parade and this route...we've done it for 30 years. We're ready. And the city of Shreveport and the Ark-La-Tex, we hope they're ready as well."