Security measures in place for 'All Souls Procession'

Security measures in place for 'All Souls Procession'

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Preparations are underway for an event that draws thousands – it's the 28th annual 'All Souls Procession" and it's taking place Sunday, November 5.

Organizers said it's the largest public procession in North America. In light of the mass shooting in Las Vegas and the terror attack in New York, security is top priority for organizers.

Tucson Police told Tucson News Now their department looks at all of the recent incidents around the nation. Their Sergeant has considered possible threats and has a safety plan in place for this procession, as well as a plan B and C, just in case something happens.

Set-up crews were busy on Friday night constructing the stage and hanging lights for the grand finale. More than 150,000 participants will flood the streets of Tucson to form the two-mile long 'All Souls Procession.'

With that many people in one spot, organizers have hired 32 off-duty TPD officers for security. Police will also have their on-duty officers patrolling, and several undercover officers mingling in the crowd.

Tucson News Now talked to organizers and a member of the Tucson Angels. Their group is focused on keeping the peace and deflecting any person who shouts negative words during the procession.

"I think that the temperature in the United States has changed so I'm there to try to bring it down and be a peace maker and channel love in between the crowd and this kind of action," Tucson Angel, Sheli Weis said.

"There will be volunteers on the street who will be watching. There will also be plain-clothed officers on the street watching, but if you see something suspicious look for an usher and let them know," Volunteer Organizer, Melanie Cooley said.

Folks are encouraged to start gathering at the Barrio Hollywood sign at 4 p.m. on Sunday. The procession will start at 6 p.m.

Organizers recommend that folks park downtown for the All Souls Procession, and not at the starting location because spots are limited. Sun Tran is running an express route directly from the Ronstadt Center to the start of the route, on Grande just south of Speedway. That will run roughly every five minutes from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Participants can walk the route and then take the SunLink streetcar back to downtown.

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