CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Hours before the parade even began, Cleveland Police were putting their security plan into place.
Keeping tens of thousands of St. Patrick’s Day parade safe is no easy task.
Police were scouring the St. Patrick's Day parade route with bomb sniffing dogs two and a half hours before tens of thousands of people are expected to line the streets of Cleveland for one of the city's biggest celebrations of the year.
“They sniff the garbage cans, under cars. They go through everyone that goes into the parade to become a parade participant, check all of the vehicles with the dogs,” said Sgt. Jennifer Ciaccia of the Cleveland Police Department.
Before, during and after the parade, Deputy Chief Harold Pretel the commander of the bureau of Homeland Services said to expect a strong police presence.
"Obviously there will be a uniform presence everywhere. We know that we have a number of special operations people who are going to be deployed throughout," said Pretel.
But there are some security plans that aren't publicized.
According to police, there is a lot that they can't talk about because they don't want to tip off the criminals.
"We have a number of mechanisms, a number of programs in place that work collectively to make sure we are all safe," added Pretel.
Police are able to monitor what happens in the streets in real time from their downtown command center, but they made it clear from the beginning that the general public was one of their most important keys to keeping everyone safe.
"If you see anything that is out of order, please let someone know," said Pretel.