After the Orlando shooting, which took the lives of 50 people, the local San Francisco community is ready and are on increased security for the San Francisco Pride event and parade on June 26 at 10:30AM.
Security Height In San Francisco In The Aftermath Of The Orlando Shooting
The FBI contacted the San Francisco police following this weekend’s massacre in Orlando at a gay nightclub and offered additional security for the city’s upcoming Pride celebrations. The police chief of San Francisco also expressed concerned over the possibility of a “copycat” shooting taking place.
Threats Highlighted By Shooting
San Francisco Pride is among the largest events in the country of its kind, that draws approximately 1 million people. On Monday, a number of individuals in the Castro district stated they were still planning to attend Pride events in the city, partly due to not wanting to give in to fear. However, they also stated that the shooting in Orlando at the Pulse nightclub serves as a reminder of the daily threats that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals face, despite all of the hard-fought progress that has been made with legal rights and gaining acceptance.
There was no comment from San Francisco’s law enforcement officials on how security may be increased after at least 49 people were killed by a gunman in Orlando early Sunday and then was shot and killed by police. However, according to a source who is familiar with planning for Pride, guests at the events can expect there to be bomb-sniffing dogs and snipers in addition to more patrolling police officers.
Santa Monica & Los Angeles Security Guards On Alert As Well
Hours following the rampage in Florida, a man was arrested by Santa Monica police for allegedly having a car full of bomb-making materials, ammunition and guns who was planning to go that day to the Los Angeles gay pride festival. The Los Angeles Times reported that law enforcement officials had considered cancelling this year’s parade but instead increased security and ended up going forward with the event.
With San Francisco Pride only a week away, where hundred of thousands of individuals stream into the city, warnings from top security experts state that there is little that can be done in terms of preventing an attack similar to the one that occurred in Orlando leaving at least 50 individuals dead and numerous others wounded in the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.
The gunman, who has been identified as 29 year-old Omar Mateen, was reportedly influenced by the Islamic State terrorist group prior to storming the crowded gay nightclub called Pulse in downtown Orlando. At around 2 a.m. he started to execute patrons.
According to experts, individuals who are determined to carry out these kinds of attacks look for soft targets such as malls and nightclubs, which do not usually have advanced security. According to retired FBI assistant special agent Jeffrey Harp, who heads the San Francisco office, without measures in place like cameras and metal detectors, unprotected crowded ares are places that attract foreign and domestic terrorists for their targets.
San Francisco Security Officers Prepared And Ready
San Francisco law enforcement officials, like other agencies across the country, prepared themselves for potential threats all throughout the day on Sunday. However, they said they hadn’t received any information regarding any planned attacks.
According to Sgt. Michael Andraychak, a department spokesman, officer patrols were increased in busy areas by San Francisco police officials on Sunday with the most soft targets, including entertainment areas, transit centers and shopping districts
Since LGBT community members appeared to have been targeted by the attack, authorities states they were focusing resources in the Castro neighborhood as well as other LGBT venues throughout the city.
Officers driving police cruisers made continuous passes into the Castro area as people stood in solidarity together and mourned the Orlando attack victims.