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.

Next Up

Dalvin Cook

Vikings: Dalvin Cook is OUT of Seahawks game

The star running back hasn't recovered from an ankle injury.


Boy arrested after making threats towards school in Anoka

An image shared on Snapchat warned of the "best school shooting yet."

Ambulance hospital emergency

Four killed in crashes after deadly start to weekend on MN roads

The latest figures show there have been 349 road deaths in Minnesota this year.


In crackdown on unruly passengers, Delta urges other airlines to share no-fly lists

The airline says it's a bid to "further protect airline employees across the industry."

Screen Shot 2020-06-15 at 7.11.05 AM

St. Cloud State student-athlete suspended from team following alleged assault

The incident reportedly took place off campus on Sep. 18.

Gopher Football

U of M-barrassed: Gophers shocked by Bowling Green

The Falcons snapped a 21-game non-conference winning streak in front of a homecoming crowd.

Andrew Wiggins

Andrew Wiggins applies for exemption to COVID vaccine, is rejected

Wiggins could miss a large chunk of the season without the vaccine.

CJ Ham

Vikings-Seahawks: 5 things you can count on happening

Can the Vikings finally beat Russell Wilson?

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Residents asked to be on the lookout for at-large suspect in Sauk Rapids

The suspect was last seen near the intersection of Garden Brook Drive Northeast and Strawberry Court Northeast.


Evangelist sues for more access to Twin Cities Pride festival

A Wisconsin man who wants to distribute Bibles at the event is suing after festival organizers restricted him to an area away from the action.

Twin Cities Pride is now inviting police officers to march in the parade

The Pride parade this week had said law enforcement wouldn't be allowed to participate – a decision met with criticism.

Gay Pride Festival celebrates 40th anniversary this weekend

Participants in the annual Twin Cities Pride Festival have an extra reason to celebrate this weekend when the event turns 40. The two-day festival, which runs Saturday and Sunday, is the third largest Gay Pride event in the nation. A spokesperson estimates 350,000 people from all over the state will attend.

Marriage amendment issue looms at Twin Cities Pride festival

Even though the vote isn't until November,discussions about the constitutional amendment banning gay marriage were at the forefront of the 40th annual Twin Cities Pride festival Saturday in Minneapolis. Those against the amendment are using Pride as a way to grow support their cause.