Police, Fire Leaders Emphasize New Year's Day Safety

2018 parade features early Colorado Blvd closing, new mobile app

Published : Friday, December 22, 2017 | 5:58 AM

“Safety is our top priority,” said Pasadena police and fire leaders at Thursday’s New Years’ Day public safety and security press briefing at City Hall.

This year, demonstrating its emphasis on public safety, the Pasadena Police Department, supported by the Tournament of Roses Association and City officials, will be closing the 2018 Rose Parade route to vehicular traffic early to enhance public safety measures.

Route closures will take effect beginning at 10 p.m., Sunday, December 31 until 2 p.m., Monday, January 1, 2018, along Colorado Boulevard, from Orange Grove Boulevard, to Sierra Madre Boulevard, and northbound on Sierra Madre to Paloma Street.

Water-filled barricades will block all north-south crossing Colorado Boulevard intersections.

The Pasadena Police and Transportation Departments have, however, chosen several cross streets that will remain open for north and southbound vehicle traffic from December 31, 2017 at 10 p.m. until January 1, 2018 at 2 p.m. (Please refer to the map below for detailed information.)

According to David Eads of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses, the 129th Rose Parade and 104th Rose Bowl game will be broadcast to 120 countries and more than 45 million viewers.

Pasadena Police Chief Phillip Sanchez told reporters that the police are relying on community cooperation at both New Years’ Day events, and repeated his advice to parade and game attendees that “if you see something, say something.”

Sanchez also noted that Pasadena police “are not aware of any active terrorist threats against the Rose Parade or the Rose Bowl game.”

The police department will be working, and coordinating security, with nearly a dozen local and federal agencies including the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, California Highway Patrol, LA Port Police,and the National Guard.

Pasadena Fire Chief Bertral Washington also emphasized that overnight temperatures on New Years’ Eve will dip into the low 40s, but that New Year’s Day will be warm and sunny, so visitors should dress in layers. Washington also noted that ladders, couches and tents will not be allowed anywhere along the parade route. Drones will also not be allowed anywhere near the parade route or the Rose Bowl.

Mindful of violent events in the US and elsewhere, such as the Las Vegas shootings in October, Police Chief Sanchez said that Pasadena police would have both “covert and overt” officers on duty at both the Rose Parade and the Rose Bowl game.

“For obvious reasons,” said security expert Dr. David McWhorter, founder of the private Washington, D.C.-based Homeland Security Consulting Group on Thursday, “even with increased security over the last 15 years, we still see that people who want to do harm, are able to. It’s always easier to play offense than defense. So there’s concerns about shooters and IEDs in backpacks and vehicles, of course getting through into the crowd. Defense is always harder and so you got to make sure you got everything covered.”

Like Sanchez, McWhorter agreed that cooperation among a host of law enforcement and related agencies is paramount to providing quality security, and preventing tragedies.

“It’s a monumental task,” McWhorter said, “but that’s why we do have people from the federal agencies and local law enforcement and various others that have to work together for practically all year round to prepare for these once a year events.”

Information on parade routes, street closings and traffic advice is available at www.tournamentofroses.com, and with their new mobile app, Tournament of Roses Event App, available at the App store and Google Play.

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