Seattle police ready for parade crowds



Posted on February 4, 2014 at 7:03 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 4 at 7:20 PM

The Seattle Police Department has called in all of its officers to work the Super Bowl victory parade on Wednesday, and neighboring police departments have been asked to send uniformed officers to help with crowd control.

Seattle police said they expect record numbers to cheer on the champions on Wednesday.

“We’re prepared to handle 300,000 or more.  I wouldn’t be surprised if it went higher to tell you the truth,” said Seattle Assistant Police Chief Paul McDonagh.

McDonagh said city officials expect a bigger turnout than when the Sonics won the 1979 NBA championships, when an estimated 300,000 turned out.

He said officers don’t expect trouble, but they will be prepared.

“There has not been a threat, however we have planned for that contingency and all the officers will be prepared for that tomorrow,” said McDonagh.

Homeland security expert David Gomez, a former FBI official in Seattle, said city planners chose an excellent route in the 4th Avenue corridor.

“This is actually a really great venue for a parade.  It has really wide sidewalks,” said Gomez.

The avenue’s width and pedestrian infrastructure give lots of room to police to do their job and for citizens to move around.

Gomez said he doesn’t expect problems from any sophisticated terrorism organizations, given the short notice of the parade.