Police set detailed security plan for Columbus Pride Festival


Several streets downtown were barricaded off Thursday by orange cones and metal signs as people prepare for the Columbus Pride Festival and Parade.

Columbus Police expect 500,000 people to attend this weekend's events which means a need for heightened security and police presence.

"We take a look at how big it is, how many days it goes over," said Deputy Chief Michael Woods with the Columbus Police Department. "We want to make sure that we don't over respond but we want to respond appropriately."

Much like last year, the department will provide security in various forms.

"You're going to see extra officers on bicycles, extra officers in uniform walking about. There'll be some extra officers that you won't see," said Deputy Chief Woods.

With mass shootings and terrorist attacks across the country, Woods says the department will be on the lookout for strange activity and suspicious bags. Backpacks are allowed at the events, but Woods says it is best to keep the bags close to you.

"We get a lot of calls about unintended packages. Put your name on it. Put your phone number on it, so that way if we do come across it, we can give you a call, we can get that back to you," said Woods.

Woods also says it's a good idea to create a meeting place for you and your family. If someone gets lost or their phone dies, family members will know a place to find you.