St. Patrick's Day was safer with city preparation
Last updated 3/28/2018 at 8:23pm
Here in the City of Pittsburgh mid-March marks the conclusion of the cold winter months and the welcome beginning of the spring season— for many it also means the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day and the nationally famous Pittsburgh St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
For decades this event has been the highlight of the year for the many individuals in our region of Irish heritage, and for Pittsburghers young and old it has become the one of the most popular and well attended social events of the year.
This year, thanks to the tireless dedication and meticulous planning of the Office of the Mayor William Peduto, the Pittsburgh Department of Public Safety, the Department of Public Works, the Office of Nighttime Economy, Food and Beverage businesses, Pittsburgh Transportation Group, and the Pittsburgh Parking Authority, the parade and city-wide informal celebration was a resounding success.
We have learned from experience that safe and happy celebrations begin with continuous and careful planning. This year’s successful planning was led by the expert guidance of Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich and Chief Guy Costa, who worked with their staff for weeks in establishing clear parameters for responsible celebration.
Under the director’s leadership we saw the organization and deployment of more than 140 officers of the Bureau of Police along the hot-spot of celebration in the South Side neighborhood. These officers’ forward presence and community-friendly attitude contributed greatly the security and enjoyment of revelers and residents alike.
Thanks are due as well to Director Gable and men and women of Public Works, who operated throughout the day to keep the South Side in a clean and orderly condition. In addition, thanks go to the Chief Jones and the men and women of the Fire Bureau, as well as to Chief Farrow and the men and women of EMS, who surveyed dozens of hospitality establishments for occupancy checks and transported individuals in need of special assistance to safety.
Additionally, special thanks is due to Allison Harnden of the Nighttime Economy Office and the years of experience she has in planning large scale public events. Our city’s commitment to leadership in responsible hospitality and the growing experience economy are truly second to none.
Most importantly, we all owe a collective “thank you” to the residents of the South Side neighborhood, who once again have been the most patient and gracious hosts to one of Pittsburgh’s favorite events. While being the center of such a large-scale celebration is never easy for any community, South Side has once again shown the open spirit and resilience that make it one of the most vibrant and welcoming of all Pittsburgh’s 90 neighborhoods.
Bruce A. Kraus
President, Pittsburgh City Council