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With millions of people expected to be in the area of Eastern Parkway and environs for the West Indian Day Parade, the NYPD mantra clearly is safety first.
To that end, cops are putting the word out about rules and regulations that will be enforced on the day of the parade, Labor Day, September 1.
During a meeting with mas camp representatives held at the 67th Precinct, 2820 Snyder Avenue, NYPD representatives outlined the game plan.
“The 67th Precinct goes as Labor Day goes,” stressed Deputy Inspector Corey Pegues, the precinct’s commanding officer. “It’s our biggest time of the year, bigger than Christmas. We want people to have fun that day. We don’t want to have any problems.”
The rules will be in effect in advance of the parade, Pegues said. “We are doing it a little differently from last year,” he told the group. “It’s going to be a little more of a tight ship.”
Specifically, Pegues said, the NYPD will, “be locking down” the area where the parade assembles, meaning, he stressed, that no one will be allowed into the area without credentials.
“We are going to be coordinated,” Pegues stressed, “because when you are coordinated, things go much more smoothly. Everything is a safety issue. Last year, nobody got shot. This year, I want the same thing. When somebody gets shot, I ask myself, did I do everything I could to prevent that person from getting shot? I take that stuff personally.”
Detective Nivrose Duncan, of the community affairs division of Patrol Borough Brooklyn South, expanded on the regulations that would be in force.
For one thing, he said, the area at the beginning of the parade, “where all the trucks come up and get inspected” had been a bit of a bottleneck because of the number of people gathered there, making it difficult for the trucks to make the left turn.
Therefore, said Duncan, the general area between Utica and Buffalo Areas, in the vicinity of Rockaway Parkway and Rutland Road would be “frozen. If you don’t have a costume, if you’re not a part of the parade, you’re not going to be able to go into that area.”
In addition, said Detective Berenice Vixamar, also with PBBS community affairs, people who are part of the parade should have, “A costume on or a shirt that identifies them as being part of a band.
“Make sure you’re on time,” she stressed. “Once you are out there, you’re going, whether you have two or 200 masqueraders. We are not waiting for anybody this year.”
Bedford Avenue, in the vicinity of the parade, “will be shut down to vehicular traffic,” added Anthony Hinds, the president of the United States Steelband Association. “Steel bands will be escorted by cops,” he added. “There’s no music playing till you get to the formation area.”
The West Indian American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA) has distributed several pages of rules and regulations to those involved with Carnival.
In the material, WIADCA pointed out that crossing Eastern Parkway by spectators will be restricted during the parade.
“No crossing on Eastern Parkway until there is a gap in the procession of floats,” is one rule. In particular, the rule sheet says, “Pedestrian crossing will be curtailed at Nostrand, Bedford and Franklin Avenues.”
Spectators are also urged to use public transportation. “There is no parking in the area,” WIADCA stressed.
No alcoholic beverages can be sold along the parade route, WIADCA said. In addition, participants in the parade are not allowed to “throw gifts to spectators,” noted WIADCA, and spectators must stay behind police lines
©2008 Community Newspaper Group
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