Norfolk Police address Pride Festival safety concerns

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NORFOLK. Va. – Hampton Roads Pride President Michael Berlucchi, and the Norfolk Police Department held a news conference at Town Point Park on June 16 to address security for the upcoming PrideFest events at the Norfolk Scope Arena and Town Point Park.

Earlier on Thursday, News 3 spoke to Berlucchi, who said there will be a large police presence.

“There will be public safety mechanisms in place. [Some will be] highly visible and some that won’t be visible to ensure a safe festival experience,” Berlucchi said.

He said there is no credible threat against the festival.

“I’ve been in communication with law enforcement agencies. I don’t believe there’s a credible serious threat to our safety here in Hampton Roads,” he said.

Even before the mass shooting in Orlando, Berlucchi said police were always going to have a presence at the event.

“There will be a very large police presence, but there was always going to be a large police presence. We have always known for a time that our festival is controversial. I regret that fact, but we inspire negative and positive reactions,” he told News 3.

Norfolk police tell NewsChannel 3, there will be an increased police presence at the event. 

“What they’re going to see are officers walking in and around the venue, officers on bike patrol, and on boat. We are a waterfront community. Officers with our harbor patrol will be on boats that border the venue,” Cpl. Melinda Wray said. 

Wray also said they are relying on state and federal authorities for intelligence information. 

Details of the upcoming PrideFest events: 

Fifth Annual Pride Block Party

Friday, June 17

Norfolk Scope Arena



PrideFest 2016

Saturday, June 18

Town Point Park