Bristol PD prepped for downsized parade with social distancing

With a downsized Fourth of July parade set to take place in Bristol, officers are just as prepared this year to handle security, but officers will also be making sure people are obeying proper social distancing guidelines.

The Bristol Police Department said it will be enforcing the guidelines and, if necessary, they’re prepared to issue citations.

Capt. Scott McNally said if an officer sees a violation, it will be nothing more than educating the public and politely asking people to break up large groups and wear masks.

But officers are prepared to cite people, even though the department has not issued a single citation for social distancing since the executive order was signed by Gov. Raimondo.

“Depends on the officer’s discretion at that time and what is going on. And of course the cooperation, you know. We expect the cooperation from the public,” McNally said. “So we’re hoping it doesn’t come to that.”

The parade is expected to be around 30 minutes this year.

People ‘marching’ in the parade will be doing so in a car, so McNally said officers will have to be mindful of pedestrian traffic along the parade route as well.

After the events, the department’s job will not be finished when it comes to adhering to social distancing guidelines.

“Patrols designated into the downtown area to address those types of issues. Make sure the establishments aren’t overcrowded and the parks and recreational areas are safe,” he said.

According to McNally, Bristol usually expects around 80,000-100,000 for the parade, but this year it’s expected to be way less and a majority of the crowd will probably be locals.

Categories: Coronavirus, News, Regional News, Rhode Island