Twin Cities Pride will boost security after Orlando

Published 10:37 am Tuesday, June 14, 2016

By Jon Collins

MPR News/90.1 FM

Twin Cities Pride organizers say this year’s festivities will have an increased security presence following Sunday’s massacre at an Orlando gay nightclub that killed 49 people and injured dozens more.

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The annual Twin Cities Pride weekend is scheduled for June 25 and 26 in Minneapolis’ Loring Park. Dot Belstler, executive director of Twin Cities Pride, declined to comment on specific security measures the festival may adopt in response to the Orlando attack, but says organizers plan to beef up this year’s security presence.

“Most of our security measures are kind of behind the scenes, people aren’t aware of what we have on site in the festival, in the parade, we’ll be working with MPD and the park police to make sure that our security is more visible this year,” Belstler said.

In addition to the parade and festival in Loring Park, Pride celebrations include bars and other venues.

Ken Darling, owner of Lush in northeast Minneapolis, said he and other business owners involved in Pride will meet with police later this week to talk about security.

Still, he knows there’s only so much they can do.

“By definition these events are random, and rare, and they’re extreme,” Darling said. “And there isn’t really a security response to them. And we know that. Having said that, we have to be more vigilant, we have to be aware, but at the same time, we can’t be fearful, we can’t alter our lives.”