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Amidst the festive spirit of St. Patricks Day, the iconic symbol of luck, the clover, reminds us of the rich traditions and celebrations honoring Irish heritage.
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Around 1 million people were estimated to be in attendance at the parade.
One Dead, Several Injured During Chiefs Parade
Zach Gunter and Jazlyn SummersFebruary 14, 2024

Update:   As of 2:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon, the number of those injured at the Union Station shooting after the Chiefs Super Bowl parade...

Former NYPD Cop Weighs in on Crowd Safety at Chiefs Parade

Reflects on event safety measures implemented on New Year’s Eve in Times Square and what the KCPD can learn from it.
Sydney Siemens
The crowd size has increased at each Super Bowl parade for the Chiefs, causing more planning and work for the KCPD.

  An estimated one million people attended New York City’s Times Square New Year’s Eve ball drop with zero fatalities or injuries.  

  An estimated one million people attended the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory parade last Wednesday. More than 20 people were shot, including one fatality, a mother of two. 

  The New York Police Department (NYPD) was able to keep a million people safe in Times Square last New Year’s Eve even with heightened circumstances due to protests related to the ongoing crisis in Gaza. Yet here in Kansas City, the police couldn’t stop Wednesday’s suspect from opening fire into the crowd of cheering Chiefs fans. 

  What can the Kansas City Police Department learn from their peers in the Big Apple?

  Richard Tamayo is a retired NYPD officer that started in the 115th precinct in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York, and later became a narcotics detective in the organized crime unit in Brooklyn. 

Retired NYPD officer Richard Tamayo at the Twin Towers shortly after the events on 9/11. (Provided by )

  Throughout his 13 years of service, Tamayo worked an array of festivals in the five boroughs, including the West Indian Day Parade and the annual Little Italy Feast of San Gennaro. He worked New Year’s Eve in Times Square three times.  

  Tamayo says the NYPD would set up checkpoints at every entrance point on New Year’s Eve. The checkpoints had metal detectors to ensure no one brought weapons or objects that could be used as one. 

  Times Square on New Year’s Eve also strictly prohibits alcohol. The KCPD stated in a press release outlining the rules for parade safety that, “public consumption of alcohol is illegal.” However, drinks flowed for parade goers and players on the buses from early in the morning at the celebration.

  Tamayo believes, “Allowing alcohol at an event with so many people only adds more chaos to the mix.” 

  Tamayo also mentioned that at the parade, Kansas City’s superstars, the Chiefs players, were publicly intoxicated. He believes parade attendees would not feel obligated to follow a rule their idols were so brazenly breaking. 

  A lack of security checkpoints like the NYPD use in Times Square every New Year’s Eve is another problem Tamayo had with the safety measures put in place. 

  The KCPD has a list of items prohibited from the parade, but Tamayo believes that without checkpoints to ensure prohibited items are left at home, these rules are useless. 

  Tamayo says that if there had been security checkpoints, with officers checking every attendee and their belongings, “this tragedy could have been avoided.” 

  Tamayo retired from the NYPD in 2003, and since then safety measures at large events in New York City increased. The NYPD uses drones and undercover cops dispersed throughout the crowds to observe and keep every attendee in Times Square safe. Tamayo also mentioned the NYPD constantly refines the techniques already in place.

  In the end, Tamayo says that, at least in Kansas City, Chiefs fans are better off celebrating in their own ways at home or other private spaces.

  “This is a tough pill to swallow, but if I were in charge of the KCPD, I would never allow this kind of large event to happen again,” Tamayo said. “The risk is too high.” 

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