Behind the McAllen Holiday Parade security operations

2 months 2 days 15 hours ago Sunday, December 04 2022 Dec 4, 2022 December 04, 2022 11:53 AM December 04, 2022 in News - Local

About 200,000 people enjoyed the McAllen Holiday Parade Saturday night. 

In the wake of recent mass shootings across the country, security is the priority for McAllen police Chief Victor Rodriguez. 

"Today, everything can happen," Rodriguez said.

Thousands of people lined the streets Saturday night to enjoy the parade. 

"So we do our very best, we do our very best to plan a lot of different contingencies," Rodriguez said.

While people may see the holiday fun and glamour of the parade, they don't see the work behind the scenes to keep everyone safe. 

Rodriguez says it's a multiagency effort — local, state, and federal. 

"Will have them on the ground, will have them in plain clothes will have them in uniform, you'll see them in the air you'll see them everywhere," Rodriguez said.

Part of their security work happens inside the Texas Transnational Intelligence Center. 

"Ultimately that does two things, one it prevents, number two assures our community and gives them some confidence of safety within the event," Rodriguez said. 

The Texas Transnational Intelligence Center is where the sheriff, McAllen PD, and DPS spearhead their parade security operations. 

"This center helps all the law enforcement agencies throughout the county and the Rio Grande Valley and state when they have issues, and they want assistance from criminal analysts," Hidalgo County Sheriff Eddie Guerra said. "But today it's been turned into an operation center for the McAllen Holiday Parade."

Security planning starts six months prior to the parade.

"We commit the assets and then about 45 days out," Guerra said. "We all come together, and we have our first briefing."

Channel 5 News went inside Saturday's final briefing, a few hours before the parade — that's where a majority of all officers get their assignments before they deploy for duty. 

Guerra says the month's long security effort comes down to one night. 

"During those nine years, we have only had two arrests that we've had to make, those arrests were petty," Guerra said. 

A night where all hands are on deck to keep the public safe.

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