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Police and organizers setting up security for Mardi Gras
PORT ARTHUR-By: Leslie Rangel
The roads are shut down and fences are already up here on Proctor Street to help beef up security as Port Arthur gets ready to accommodate thousands of people this coming weekend.
Everywhere you look, landscapers, city workers and police are preparing for the biggest weekend in Port Arthur.
"Officers all up and down the parade route. There will be patrols all around the Mardi Gras area and the parking area and our citizens group will assist us with all the patrolling," Deputy Chief Dennis Odom says.
Odom says he started making plans six months ago.
He wants to make sure the Mardi Gras of Southeast Texas runs smoothly.
"We'll have officers at each entrance gate and any known trouble makers will be turned around and not allowed to come in," Odom said.
Officers will get help from another set of eyes.
cameras set up at Mardi Gras will mean someone could be watching you all the time.
"We have officers so we invite officers from other agencies to assist us and there's probably 6-8 other agencies that assist us with this," Odom said.
It's already busy here on Proctor Street, preparations are happening around the clock.
Pink markings in the road show where barricades will be set up for the parades.
"Police are always here and it's wonderful because you feel safe when you're down here," Cynthia Hinds, an organizer with Mardi Gras of Southeast Texas says.
A police presence that continues through Thursday and until the last parade.
Minute by minute it's beginning to look a lot like Mardi Gras.
"It's family oriented, we have something for everybody here and a lot of people just come home to see their family and friends and they plan it around Mardi Gras and it's just a great place to come," Hinds says.
The first parade kicks off Thursday evening with a chicken toss.
Police want to remind the public to travel in groups while out here celebrating.
Hide your belongings when parking, and make sure you keep an eye on your children.
They say every year children wander off and it's important to stay with them.