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Monday, December 6, 2021

No changes planned ahead of Ballston Spa Holiday Parade

BALLSTON SPA – Organizers of the village’s annual holiday parade have no plans to adjust safety protocols ahead of next month’s event, when an SUV driver crashed into a similar incident in a Milwaukee suburb, at least on Sunday Five people were killed and dozens more were injured. ,

Dana Vomer, co-organizer of the Ballston Spa Holiday Parade & Tree Lighting, said she remains confident in the event’s safety plans, despite what unfolded in Waukesha, Wisconsin last weekend.

“We’re really sticking to our security protocol plan that we’ve implemented over the years,” she said.

Safety is a top priority for organizers working closely with the village police department to implement the plan, Vomer said, which includes blocking all side roads along a two-mile parade route that is open to public works vehicles and police. Using the department extends to Milton Avenue. barricades

Ballston Spa Police did not return a request for comment.

Over 1,000 people are expected to attend the December 3 event, which was canceled last year due to the pandemic.

Vommer said a visible public safety presence will also be seen in the crowd during the event, with various checkpoints set up along the route.

“It’s something we’ve thought about for a few years and we already have plans in place,” she said.

Similar protocols were in place during the Schenectady Holiday Parade on Saturday, in which many people flooded the downtown area to celebrate the return of the event, one of the largest nighttime parades in the country.

The parade went off without a problem, but according to Patrick Irwin, public information officer for the city’s police department, Waukesha’s events last weekend are certainly something police will consider as they prepare for next year’s installment.

“What happened in Wisconsin was definitely on our radar, so it will definitely be something we have to re-evaluate what happened there and if there is anything that could happen here.”

Irwin said roads along the parade route were closed by DPW vehicles on Saturday to ensure no vehicular access to the parade route.

He said 70 city police officers were present during the parade, and officers cleaned the parade route for suspicious packages before the event began. Officers were “strategically” placed in full crowds, including several people stationed on rooftops.

Irwin declined to provide additional information about where the officers were stationed.

Representatives from the state police and the Schenectady County Sheriff’s Office were also present during the event at various checkpoints.

Investigators are still sticking together what happened in Waukesha, although arrests have been made in connection with that incident.

Police say Darrell Brooks Jr. left the scene of domestic unrest before driving his SUV into a crowd, killing five. Prosecutors have charged him with five counts of first-degree willful murder.

According to police, Brooks was out on $1,000 bail earlier this month for a previous domestic incident where he was charged with trying to run over the mother of his child in a gas station parking lot.

He will be produced in the court on Tuesday morning.

Meanwhile, Vommer said she understands that some people may be hesitant to attend the parade, but added she has confidence in the safety protocols organised.

“I have full confidence in the Ballston Spa public safety services and I feel completely safe to have my children join and participate in the parade myself,” she said.

Contact correspondent Chad Arnold at: 518-410-5117 or [email protected], Follow him on Twitter: @ChadGArnold.

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Categories: News, Saratoga County

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