Gibson emphasizes festival safety

CROWLEY - Crowley Chief of Police K.P. Gibson has some advice for people coming to the 75th International Rice Festival - make sure you come to have a good time otherwise it may turn out to be a long day for some.

“Of course we would like to see everyone have a good time but we would like to see this year’s festival go on without any major incidents,” he said.

Many of the things Gibson said Tuesday were the same as in years past such as:

- “There will be a zero tolerance for fighting,” he said. “If you come here and get in a fight you had better make sure you have $1,000 handy because that is what it will cost you to bond out. I don’t understand why some people come and spend their money on bonding out of jail when they could be using it to enjoy themselves.”

The policy has been in place now for several years and last year’s event was relatively free of any major fights.

- Small children should have their names and a contact number in a pocket so that if they become lost, authorities can track down their parents or guardians.

This year we will have three spots where lost children will be brought if they are found. The Crowley Police will no longer have the mobile station as they did in previous years. Instead, they will be based at both music stages and at the Wells Fargo Station.

“Also, just find an officer and they will send any parents who are missing a child or the child themselves to the proper place where they will remain safe until they can be picked up,” said Chief Gibson.

- No ice chests, glass containers or pets.

- Remember to lock the doors to your car upon parking and be sure not to leave any valuables in plain sight if they are left in the car.

- Gibson also suggested that people walk in groups. There are safety in numbers.

“Also, try not to carry a large amount of cash on you,” he added.

There will also be a few new security measures this year.

“We will not have as many rope holders as we have in previous years,” said Chief Gibson. “At the intersections of Parkerson Ave. and Fifth St., Fourth St., Third St. and Second St. we will have barriers that are chained together.”

“We are also warning people not to park on private property even if it seems like an empty lot,” he added.

“There should also be no roadways or driveways blocked at all,” Chief Gibson said. “This is to ensure that any emergency vehicles that need to pass will be able to make it to their destination. It is my job to ensure public safety...we don’t like having to tow people but if they are blocking a roadway they could be putting others at risk.”

Finally, Chief Gibson wanted to remind people that this is an election weekend and that people may have a hard time making it to the courthouse - especially between the hours of 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.

“People need to understand that this is a family function and that they should treat others the way that they would like to be treated,” he concluded.

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