CLE discusses St. Patrick's Day safety, security

Posted at 6:51 PM, Mar 16, 2016

Everyone will be little bit Irish tomorrow, as the city comes together to celebrate St. Patty’s Day. But you don't want to be Irish and in handcuffs.

In a press conference today, city officials discussed their plans to crack down on crime and security for the festivities tomorrow.

Commander Harold Peretel of the Bureau of Homeland Services said, “Assigning the officers and our partners to certain areas is going to give us that greater visibility and greater response.”

Officials said they can't do it alone and need your help.

“We don’t practice any kind of profiling, we profile behavior and I’d ask the public’s help in profiling behavior,” Peretel said.

This year, there won’t be any particular DUI or OVI checkpoint in the city, but Sergeant Jennifer Ciaccia with the Cleveland police indicated there will be a heightened awareness of all alcohol intoxication.

She said, “The Ohio State Highway Patrol, CSU police, CMHA police, everyone’s on a heightened awareness for DUI/OVI.”

Peretel told me having the construction on Public Square will likely help decrease some of the reckless behavior seen in previous years.

“One, the congestion is going to have crowds that are standing still, where things can happen, but also, it’s going to be easier for us to hold some of that ground.”

Despite past years of beatings and mob attacks of parade-goers, some locals said they’re not really concerned about safety.

“It is a drastic majority of people that don’t get out of hand,” said Mike Giles, right before getting his morning coffee in Starbucks.

Catherine Cooper has been to the parade in past year’s and said she’s always had a great time.

“There’s going to be people who are going to be jerks, and that are going to act out just because they see the opportunity, so there’s always going to be that I think, but it’s St. Patrick’s Day, people try to have a good time.”

Overall officials said they want people to have a good time, and be responsible.

“It’s a very important day for us. We do not want anybody to ruin it, we don’t want anybody to ruin it for anybody in the parade,” said Jim Kilbane, executive director for the St. Patrick’s Day parade.

The police weren’t able to give the exact number of deployed officers they’ll have tomorrow, but they did say they are confident in their plan and are prepared as much as they can be.

Officials are also warning folks to pay attention to parking meters with covers on them. If you see it, don’t park there.

It’s also important to note there will be extended towing hours across the city if you find yourself in a jam.