The Charlotte Pride Festival & Parade is returning to Uptown for the first time since 2019 in a little over a month, and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department says it’s prepared and already on heightened alert to ensure safety at the big event.
Billy Reasor and his husband have attended Charlotte’s pride parade for years, saying it was “a place that felt safe.” After a gunman shot dozens of people at an Independence Day parade in Highland Park, Illinois, Reasor says he’s worried about threats at large gatherings like the festival.
“I want some safety, I want some security, and I want to know what our city is doing about it,” Reasor told Channel 9.
We took Reasor’s concerns to CMPD to get information, and Lt. Stephen Fischbach said the department is already planning ahead.
“Those officers are going to be out there in full force to make sure it’s a safe event for everyone,” Fischbach said. He added that undercover and uniformed officers will be posted along the route.
Fischbach couldn’t give too many specifics about how police will be organizing during the event, but the department will also be using a network of cameras to monitor real-time video and look for suspicious activity or anything out of place.
Ahead of the event, CMPD is also focusing on prevention and monitoring for any hostile statements.
“At this point, we are not aware of any specific threats to Charlotte, but we are still monitoring information coming into Charlotte, as well as all over the country,” Fischbach told Channel 9.
Safety isn’t just on the minds of attendees -- organizers with Charlotte Pride say they’re confident in CMPD’s security plan.
“We can’t live our life in fear,” said Matt Comer with Charlotte Pride.
That’s a motto that Reasor and his husband are embracing.
“Those who are doing these types of violent actions aren’t going to scare us away,” Reasor said.
This year, Charlotte Pride Week is the week of Aug. 12, leading up to a weekend festival and the parade on Sunday, Aug. 21. The festivities are expected to bring more than 200,000 visitors to Charlotte.
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