DES MOINES, IOWA — This time of year a lot of Iowan’s have their mind on fair food, while the Des Moines Police Department have their attention on keeping people safe.
“When you’ve got a million people coming through what basically is our third largest city, you know, for 11 days it creates a policing challenge,” said Sergeant Paul Parizek with the Des Moines Police Department.
The State Fair parade is the kick off to the large summer celebration. There is an estimated 200 floats that will be in the parade this year. With the massive amount of people in the parade and those sitting along the street watching, the Des Moines Police Department is planning to have a large presence this year.
“So what you’ll see is probably more than 30 police officers in uniform assigned to make sure that the route is secure and they are there if we need a rapid response,” said Parizek. “There are other things that we do behind the scenes that you may not always see. And that helps us balance the atmosphere, accessibility and the security. So if we can hit those three marks then we’ve got it covered. And I feel like we do.”
The atmosphere, accessibility and security of parade-goers will become the DMPD’s job once the parade line leaves the State Capitol Complex. While at the complex State Troopers will monitor the area and have their presence be known.
The DMPD said that the route planning is up to the State Fair and the department will put together their plan on what streets need to be shut down and where police officers need to be at.
Parizek added that this might be one of the largest police presences ever at the State Fair parade.
“There’s probably going to be more. We’re not gonna see it all. But I mean taking into consideration some of the tragic events we have seen, we make those adjustments to be on the safe side,” said Parizek. “So we’d rather you know be totally prepared for the worst case scenario then get caught off guard.”
The parade starts on Wednesday at 6:15 p.m. with the parade route starting from the State Capitol Complex and ending at 15th and Grand Avenue.