Local cities to increase police presence at LGBT events, large gatherings

PrideFest 2015. Credit: WAVY-TV 10.

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) — The Norfolk Police Department wants to let the community know that they are working closely with state and federal agencies to ensure public safety following a deadly mass shooting in Orlando, Florida.

Though there are no known threats, the department says the safety and welfare of citizens will remain top priority.

The police department says they are increasing police presence in places with high concentrations of people and areas where there are large gatherings of people. Police say they will continue to work together with the LGBTQ community as well, to support their safety, especially during this weekend’s PrideFest celebrations.

Norfolk Police wants to remind people: “If you see something, say something.”

Hampton Roads Pride President Michael Berlucchi issued a statement on the upcoming festival, which is scheduled for June 17 and 18 at Town Point Park:

The tragic events at Pulse nightclub in Orlando remind us that our community’s efforts to advance justice and equality are as important now as they ever have been.  Hampton Roads Pride is committed to successfully executing PrideFest 2016, even in the face of hate and terror.

Our plans for the Fifth Annual Pride Block Party and PrideFest 2016  go forward.  Our community will demonstrate its solidarity with the LGBT community and its commitment to the values we cherish by celebrating together on June 17th & 18th.

There has always been a robust, comprehensive security strategy for our PrideFest events.  As a result of the heartbreaking events in Orlando, Hampton Roads Pride is working closely with the Norfolk Police Department as well as state and federal agencies to support the safety of our events.

The Hampton Police Division also announced on Monday that they plan to have heightened security at LGBT events throughout the city. Additionally, police say they are working with promoters to ensure proper safety precautions are taken.

Hampton Police say they will be working with local, state and federal intelligence sources to prevent any incidents from happening.

Meanwhile, the New York Police Department has assigned more than 500 anti-terrorism officers throughout New York City as a precaution in light of the Orlando massacre, according to NBC New York.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said that more security is being deployed at key New York City institutions that represent the gay community, even though there is no credible threat.

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