SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Francisco's Pride Week is the largest LGBTQ celebration in the country and one of San Francisco's most popular and well-attended events. The San Francisco Police Department says with huge crowds expected over the weekend, including guests from all over the world, public safety is their number one priority.
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SFPD says there will be a significant police presence during Pride activities because with any large event, there are always safety concerns. Police officials want to remind everyone that safety is everyone's responsibility -- including participants, organizers, security staff and law enforcement.
Avoid becoming a victim of a crime with the following safety tips:
- Pride is about community. Look out for each other and report any suspicious persons or activity to event staff or a police officer. A good adage is, "If you see something, say something." In an emergency, call 9-1-1. To provide an anonymous tip, call the SFPD Anonymous Tip Line at (415) 575-4444.
- Stay informed by signing up for emergency text message alerts by texting the word AlertSF to 888-777. AlertSF allows us to notify you of emergencies in San Francisco.
- Keep your friends close and your drinks closer. Don't accept drinks from strangers. Drink responsibly and don't drink and drive- always use a designated driver.
- The San Francisco Bay Area has a host of public transit options that will get you to, from and around Pride events.
- If you drive to the festivities, remember to "Park Smart!" Take your valuables with you, don't leave them inside your car.
- Maintain possession of your cell phone, wallet and other valuables.
- There is safety in numbers. Stay with a group when on the street or leaving bars and clubs. Be cautious about leaving a bar or club with a stranger. A rule of thumb is that if you feel "unsure" about someone, rely on that instinct and do not go with that person.
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SFPD security measures for the Pride Festival include:
- Celebrants attending the Pride festival in Civic Center will be screened by either walk-through metal detectors or handheld "wands," and are subject to additional searches of their person and possessions. Please allow extra time to pass though security checkpoints. You can help reduce delays at checkpoints by leaving unnecessary items at home.
- For more information on security screening, check out the San Francisco Pride website http://www.sfpride.org/celebration/
- Bags are discouraged. If you must bring a bag, it can be no larger than 18 inches x 18 inches. Bags are subject to search and there are no lockers for storage of oversize bags.
- Alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase inside the Civic Center venue and Pride organizers have a 100% ID check policy. No outside alcohol will be allowed into the venue and possession of open containers or consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited on City streets.
- The public should expect to see a significant police presence including members of the Special Operations Bureau, who will be mobile in the parade and festival areas. The Department is also working closely with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners to make the events as safe as possible.
"The San Francisco Police Department is working closely with Pride organizers and our City partners to make Pride Week a safe and enjoyable event for everyone," said Police Chief William Scott. "San Francisco is a very welcoming City and SFPD is proud to protect and serve everyone joining us from near and far for this year's Pride celebration."
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