San Francisco

Security Measures Ramped Up During San Francisco's Much-Awaited Pride Weekend

San Francisco's wildly popular Pride Weekend kicked off Friday, with the annual Trans March.

Millions of people are expected to head to the city to celebrate the LGBTQ community.

Some famous events include the Trans March, which started around 7 p.m. Friday from Mission Dolores Park; the Pink Triangle from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Saturday at Twin Peaks; and the San Francisco Dyke March at 5 p.m. Saturday, also at Mission Dolores Park.

All the excitement builds up to the LGBT Pride Parade, one of the largest in the world, at 10:30 a.m. Sunday. The route runs along Market Street, starting at Beale Street and ending at Eighth Street.

Security was tight during San Francisco Pride in 2016 since it followed the shooting deaths of 49 people at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

San Francisco’s wildly popular Pride Weekend kicks off  Friday, with the annual Trans March. Bob Redell reports.

This year, security will be tight once again, but "there is no specific nor credible threat to any of the events this weekend, "Craig Fair, a FBI counter-terrorism expert, said.

Law enforcement officials are still asking people to trust their intuition and report any suspicious behavior. 

Organizers have already fenced off parts of the Civic Center Plaza, with the main stage going up in front of San Francisco City Hall.

Attendees should expect to be screened by walk-through metal detectors or handheld "wands," according to police.

No bags larger than 18 by 18 inches will be allowed, and all bags are subject to search. There will be no storage lockers for oversized bags.

No outside alcohol will be allowed inside and possession of open containers or consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited on city streets. Inside the event area, alcohol will be available for purchase with valid identification.

The San Francisco Police Department will increase the number of officers stationed at the event both in uniform and plainclothes.

San Francisco Celebrates Pride

Shootings and other violent incidents have occurred during a number of past Pride celebrations, including a fatal shooting at the 2010 "Pink Saturday" event in the Castro District. That event was canceled last year due to security concerns and will not be returning this year.

The thought of violence or attacks similar to the recent onslaughts in Europe has at least one longtime Pride attendee saying "no" to attending this year's event. 

"I just don't feel safe anymore," Lee Nager said. "I know people say, 'Well, they're going to let them get to you.' But if they get to me, I won't be here."

Police this week advised those planning to attend festivities, to avoid accepting drinks from strangers or drinking and driving, to keep valuables with them rather than leaving them in the car and or elsewhere, and to stay with a group of friends when on the street or leaving bars and clubs.

Pride-goers are also strongly urged to take public transit to and from events wherever possible. Both Muni and Caltrain will provide additional service on Sunday for the parade. A slew of roads will closed during the weekend.

For more information on security screening, check out the San Francisco Pride website.

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