Changes planned to improve Bridgeport parade safety

By Brian Knox | Published Wednesday, October 10, 2018

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Close Quarters

CLOSE QUARTERS – Bridgeport Police have come up with changes for future parades through downtown Bridgeport to avoid having kids so close to the passing floats, as seen above at the recent homecoming parade. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Parade-goers in Bridgeport will see some changes at future events.

Bridgeport Police Chief Steve Stanford said his department has looked at ways to make parade experiences along Halsell Street downtown safer for the public.

In the past couple of years, that has included turning the sirens off on emergency vehicles for kids who might be sensitive to the loud noise.

Stanford said at the recent homecoming parade, he noticed other areas that needed to be improved.

“The sun was right in my face. We had kids darting in and out. Honestly, it was a scary situation,” he said.

Officers were stationed at each intersection and attempted to keep kids back away from the floats. That was often a challenge when candy was thrown from the floats.

“Some of the things we’re concerned about is we’ve had a bunch of kids down along Halsell Street. The kids are right on top of the floats,” he said.

Knowing that candy is a big part of the parade fun, Stanford said they’ve come up with what they hope is a safer way to deliver candy to the kids. Future parades will require safety walkers at each corner of the floats, and they will be the ones to hand out candy.

Other possible changes could include civilian barricades and no parking downtown during parades. Stanford said with the head-in parking along the street, people tend to stand at the back of the vehicles close to the passing floats.

The changes could create what he called a “safety zone” where citizens could safely watch the parade.

Stanford said the changes will be in effect for the Christmas parade next month.

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