Nearly half a million people crowded into one edge of one city all at the same time? It sounds like a security nightmare, doesn’t it? But that’s what happens each year at Tampa’s Gasparilla parade — an invasion of the pirates.
Think of Gasparilla like Mardi Gras, but with a pirate theme, the entire parade route runs along the water’s edge, and men dressed in pirate costumes throw beads and drink rum. It could be a recipe for disaster… so police have always had a strong presence there and have always done a fine job of wrangling the drunken pirates.
Except in my books, of course! As far as I know, Secret Justice is the only place you’ll find a murder during any Gasparilla event – and that pirate had it coming!
How would you go about protecting people at a public event like this, at a time like this?
Tampa Police recently announced their security approach this year and you can read the entire press release HERE:
- K-9‘s will sweep the 4-mile parade route and all the floats.
- Two SkyWatch posts will allow officers to keep an eagle-eye view of the crowd.
- Security cameras will be placed along the parade route.
- The Tampa Police Department is assembling teams that will be prepared to respond to any unexpected incident.
- TPD launched a mobile app encouraging people to snap a picture of anything suspicious they see on Parade Day, and submit it directly to the parade command center.
I think #5 is clever. Suppose we’d had #5 in place when the events surrounding the Secret Justice murder took place? The book would have been a lot shorter, maybe. But would our killer or any of the drunken pirates have noticed? What do you think?