Soaring Security Costs Shuts Down D.C.

Soaring Security Costs Shuts Down D.C.'s St. Patrick's Day Parade

Organizers of the Washington D.C. St. Patrick's Day Parade were forced to cancel the event due to rising security costs associated with vehicle attacks.

Organizers of the 2019 St. Patrick's Day Parade in Washington has been cancelled due to rising costs of security.

The parade on Constitution Avenue usually begins the Sunday before March 17, featuring marching bands, bagpipes, Irish step dancers and floats — nearly 100 units have comprised past parades. 

This year, however, the organizers could not justify the parade up against the steep costs of preventative security.

The St. Patrick's Parade Committee of Washington D.C. said the costs of preventative security measures increased sharply after the 2016 truck attack in Nice, France. Since that incident and others like it, major events in D.C. have been secured by multiple street closings, employing dump trucks or other heavy vehicles, in addition to a robust presence of police.

“DC Government expenses have increased almost by 44 percent, and this goes to police security, ambulance security, cleaning of the streets after the parade and different things like that,” said Robert Monagan, the parade committee’s chairman. "The problem is our revenue has not increased as fast as the city expenses have increased.”

The vehicle attacks abroad and in U.S. cities, like New York and Charlottesville, have been at the center of discussions about securing large events. Terrorist groups like ISIS have asked their followers to aim for a higher amount of victims in their attacks, instructing them to use vehicles in crowded areas. In 2016, 86 people were killed when a Caro truck ran through a group of people watching the Bastille Day fireworks.

About the Author

Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.

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