Today's Letters: City must address event planning
By LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Published March 21, 2007
Extra duty has police struggling March 12, story
I am a retired St. Petersburg police sergeant who for more than 11 years coordinated police services at all special events in the city, including the Festival of States, which has been St. Petersburg's flagship community event for nearly 80 years. For many years, we enlisted support from Pinellas County sheriff's deputies, and Pinellas Park and Clearwater police officers to provide adequate manpower to cover the Parade of States.
In return, St. Petersburg officers reciprocated to provide adequate coverage for events in those respective jurisdictions.
Band members, their families and friends from other states, as well as other local schools, work throughout the year to raise funds so they can travel to St. Petersburg to perform and be in the marching competition in the Parade of States. Others work hard to build floats for the parade.
I am appalled that city officials permitted this conflict to occur for the benefit of an event that may or may not recur annually, i.e., a grand prix race. Score: Grand prix sponsors 1, youth 0.
The fact that staffing levels within the St. Petersburg Police Department are so low is another matter, but it seems that both issues, event planning and police strength, are matters that need to be addressed by city leaders - and citizens at election time.
William Braun, Maryville, Tenn.
A fan in Canada
I went on my first Florida vacation ever. We spent five weeks in your beautiful city. Everyone was so kind, friendly and helpful. Your city is so clean and green, with beautiful parks and walkways.
Your Pier is a lovely attraction. Your hospitality was so appreciated. We would certainly visit St. Petersburg again. We felt safe and welcomed in your beautiful city. Cheers to all from Canada.
Janice Cannon, White Lake, Ontario
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[Last modified March 21, 2007, 07:23:19]
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