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Security Beefed Up for Holyoke’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade

DSC_0275HOLYOKE, Mass. (WGGB) – Parade goers, families and friends lined Northampton Street to watch the Annual Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade. Not far away was a sea of policemen monitoring the area.

“I see a firefighter standing right in front of me, right there. You see police walking up and down,” said Kim Billett of Easthampton.

Security is always a top priority for the parade, which brings in people from all over the surrounding. But this year, officials are trying to make it the safest it can be.

“I’ve definitely seen more of an increase in people coming to the parade, but especially last year with the Boston bombing, the marathon bombing that we dealt with, I’m seeing more of a police presence. So there was a bit of a fear but actually now I’m seeing a quite calm in the crowd, so it’s very good to see that,” said Chip Mannix, of Holyoke.

The parade brings hundreds of thousands of people to Holyoke and with an increase in people comes an increase in police security, especially with what happened at last year’s Boston Marathon. But many parade goers that we spoke with said though they feel safe with the increase in police activity, there’s nothing really to worry about.

“I’ve never felt unsecure at this parade,” said Steven Berubi from Westfield.

This weekend the Holyoke Police Department had nearly 200 officers on duty, along with security cameras posted along the parade route. And it’s making parade goers feel a whole lot safer.

“If you look right in back of us you can see a camera already there monitoring this area,” said Carl Karolinski of Feeding Hills.

“[I] definitely [feel] much safer, definitely. Watching people walk by you’re worried people with backpacks so forth and so on, but with the presence that you’re seeing, actually it really is, it’s a good feeling,” said Mannix.

Nearly half a million people turned out for the parade this year.

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