There will be more police officers at this weekend's Twin Cities Pride festival


You'll see a lot more police officers at this year's Twin Cities Pride events.

It's in "direct response to incidents in other areas of the country," the Minneapolis Police Department said Thursday. Earlier this month, 49 people were killed and 53 were injured in a shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando.

"You will see a noticeable and visible increase of uniformed officers throughout the weekend at Twin Cities Pride," Chief Janeé Harteau said in the news release.

Along with additional officers, the department's mounted patrol, K-9 units and bicycle rapid response team will be working in the area. The agency is also working closely with Minneapolis Park Police, Metro Transit Police and the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office.

"This level of presence is unprecedented as we want to address the safety concerns we’ve heard about from our community. We want to ensure everyone feels, and is, safe," Harteau added.

'Love will always triumph'

The police department's decision comes as Twin Cities Pride organizers – and other local Pride organizers around the state – said they planned to boost security for upcoming festivals to help calm fears following the shooting.

"Retreating out of fear is natural instinct – but we must not let fear keep us from dancing," Dot Belstler, executive director of Twin Cities Pride, said in a statement. "Love will always triumph over hate."

They're working to provide a safe space where the LGBT community can come together "as family; to love, to heal, to educate – and, yes – to celebrate," Belstler said.

The organization said it is "working diligently" to make sure the 2016 Pride festival, which runs Thursday through Sunday, "are safe and provide a space for the LGBT community." It's working with local and national law enforcement officials to bolster security, and will also make security more visible and accessible this year.

The annual event attracts as many as 400,000 people. This year, organizers also have plans to pay tribute to the victims of the Orlando shootings.

The Minneapolis Police Department is asking anyone who sees something suspicious or out of the ordinary to call police right away, or find a nearby officer to report what they saw.

Click here for more information on this year's festival.

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