Security strong for Taste of Alpharetta

Police, volunteers keep event safe

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ALPHARETTA, Ga. – Anyone attending this year’s Taste of Alpharetta May 9 might have been overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of people at the event. However, the people keeping the crowds safe were out in force.

Alpharetta’s Public Safety Department had about 75 officers and volunteers on the streets with roles ranging from keeping traffic moving to maintaining order. With an estimated 48,000 people in attendance and taking up much of downtown Alpharetta, this was no small feat.

“We had a large volunteer presence comprised of the fire corps, police explorers, auxiliary support staff and Boy Scouts,” said George Gordon, spokesman for the Alpharetta Public Safety Department.

With months spent on planning the security, Alpharetta was able to draw on a long history of dealing with large events.

“We’re very experienced in putting on large-scale events,” Gordon said. “We feel comfortable doing so. We plan for the unexpected, but proper planning prevents the unexpected.”

Gordon said the event had plenty of security.

“We had set up an incident command post to ensure communications between a number of city departments, and we had internal security assets in place to ensure the safety of participants and visitors,” he said. “This year’s Taste of Alpharetta was a tremendous success due in large part to all of the work done by volunteers and city staff members.”

In light of the Boston bombings, Gordon said the security planners took such events into consideration.

“Generally speaking, law enforcement has a heightened awareness and we had a heightened awareness,

but we did not anticipate any problems,” Gordon said. “It went flawlessly.”

This article was published in the Revue & News May 23, 2013 edition