Safety at Fall Fiesta top priority for Orlando police

Chief John Mina: Police plan for security during events with large crowds

ORLANDO, Fla. – Hundreds of people are expected to attend the Fall Fiesta this weekend at Lake Eola Park and law enforcement officers said safety is a top priority during the large event, especially in light of the terror attack that took place in New York early this week. 

There was great weather in Central Florida Saturday for the craft fair at Lake Eola Park. The Fall Fiesta was packed with tents and artists selling their creations. 

"There's just so much to see, a lot of different stuff," attendee Pat Boggs said. 

Attendees told News 6 they were happy to see Orlando police officers patrolling the park and keeping an eye on the hundreds of people expected to attend the festival over the weekend. 

"We just do a good job staffing those with plenty of officers and most importantly planning for traffic, planning for large crowds and planning for anything that would jeopardize the safety of people who are there," Orlando Police Chief John Mina said.

Mina says safety is at the top of his mind anytime there are large events or gatherings in Orlando, especially after the terror attack in New York this week where a man plowed a rental truck into a group of people.

News 6 saw road blockades at the park. City officials said they are starting the process of building permanent barricades in an effort to prevent similar attacks from happening here. 

People at the craft fair said situations like that are always in the back of their minds. 

"You can't just go out there and not be concerned about all the stuff going on," Boggs said.

But they also said that people can't let their fear of terror attacks stop them from living their lives. 

"I'm not going to let those kinds of things bother me. If you do, you'll stay at home and be locked up all of your life. I'm not going to do that," attendee Lamar Steen said. 

The Fall Fiesta runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

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