WESTERVILLE, Ohio — Westerville and Grove City discussed safety plans for their holiday events after an SUV sped through a Wisconsin Christmas parade, leaving five people dead and dozens injured.
“Yet another tragic situation. Our hearts and minds are with the people of Waukesha and that community, especially those who have been directly impacted by the tragic events of yesterday,” said Westerville Assistant Chief Ron McMillin.
Leaders of the Westerville Police Department said they plan on blocking off the entire street to make sure everything is safe for its event.
McMillin said they changed their security plans years ago to prevent a rogue car from going through the celebration.
“We've been planning for large-scale events since 2016 when Nice, France had the vehicle-born attack on citizens there. We have adjusted our planning and our tactics,” McMillin said.
Westerville and Grove City both use snowplows and dump trucks as physical barriers for parades and large public gatherings.
Grove City is taking another look at its plans ahead of next week's tree lighting ceremony and parade.
“I had a personal meeting with our deputy city administrator this morning just because of that. He sent us that email suggesting that we have one last go over just to reiterate to our officers and our service staff that this stuff is real and there's a reason we do plan to prevent things like this,” said Grove City Public Safety Director, Kevin Teaford.
Both Westerville and Grove City said they will constantly be re-evaluating safety leading up to the events.
“It became so real over the weekend, we want to make sure we have things in place,” Teaford said.