Police Assemble Special Force for Saint Patrick's Parade Weekend - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Police Assemble Special Force for Saint Patrick's Parade Weekend

Officers have been training, running through mock scenarios to make sure they're prepared by the end of the week. Officers have been training, running through mock scenarios to make sure they're prepared by the end of the week.

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - In just a few days, hundreds of thousands of people will take to the streets of Savannah celebrating Saint Patrick's Day and police want to make sure it goes off without a hitch.

In the expectation of big crowds, Savannah-Chatham police put together a mobile field force platoon. Nearly 50 officers who are padded, protected and determined. "The mood is high. We focus on tactics," said Savannah-Chatham police Lt. Harry Trawick.

He's been out training with the force running through mock scenarios to make sure they are all set by the end of the week. "If you have 45 officers with shields and this gear that sends a message to a crowd that it's time to leave," said Lt. Trawick.

He says even though he doesn't expect anything bad to happen, it's all about being prepared.

"We always hope for a peaceful situation, but we also understand that a few rowdy people can create a bad situation in a hurry and a lot more people get involved and our job would be to get them to leave," said Lt. Trawick. "Everything we do is very slow and measured. We move forward slowly with shields raised and that's the first part of getting a crowd to move is the psychological deterrent." 

And it's all for two reasons. "To make sure we can protect the life and property of the people we serve," said SCMPD chief Michael Berkow.

This force will be out starting Thursday through Sunday from 5pm to 5am and focusing on the downtown area, especially after the parade. 

Reported by: David Hall, dhall@wtoc.com

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