Security Tight For This Years Guavaween

        By Natalie Gagliordi     

 

               Ghosts, ghouls and gargoyles beware—at this year’s annual Guavaween celebration, several hundred officers from the Tampa Police Department (TPD) and the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) will be on hand to guard against illegal frolicking.

                The event, which acts as a major fundraiser for the Ybor City Chamber of Commerce, is privately run by the promotions company, CC Event Productions.  The all-day festivities include a safe trick-or-treat and spooky story time for children, as well as live music and a costume contest at night for adults.

                Officer Rick Ubinas of the TPD explained the department’s involvement with security operations, and how they plan to control the nearly 80,000 expected attendees.

                “We have a template to follow for event security because we’ve been doing it for years,” Ubinas said. “Generally speaking, we set up a temporary chain link fence as a parameter around Ybor, and inside there will be officers at every corner.”

                The security is a joint effort between the TPD and the HCSO, and officers from both departments are privately employed and paid by the CC Event Productions promoters, Ubinas said. There will be plane clothed officers roving the crowds and mounted officers patrolling the parameter, he said.

                Primary planner for event security, Officer Paul Smalley, was hesitant to divulge the exact security plan, but did express his optimism for the affair.

                “Guavaween is definitely an adult event after 4 p.m.” Smalley said. “For the most part it went well last year, and I don’t foresee a lot of problems this year.”

                According to last year’s crime statistics for Guavaween, there were no arrests made for major crimes. The majority of arrests made were for illegal alcohol possession by an underage person, and illegal possession of drugs.

Of the 97 calls made to the department in the 24-hour period during Guavaween, nine were medical, and the rest encompassed such minor crimes as fist fights and fence jumping, Smalley said.

“A lot of the time we aren’t making a ton of arrests,” Smalley said. “We will typically eject people from the site, because either there isn’t enough probable cause to arrest them, or the other party involved in an incident doesn’t want to press charges.”

The command post for security operations will be located directly outside of the parameter on 5th Avenue and 14th Street, Smalley said.

According to Ubinas, it is up to the people to help make the event run as smooth and enjoyable as possible.

“We provide as much security as we possibly can,” Ubinas said. “But the kids that come to have fun need to be responsible, and not let themselves go over the edge.”

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7 Responses to “Security Tight For This Years Guavaween”

  1. usfadvancedreporting Says:

    Primary planner for event security, Officer Paul Smalley, was hesitant to divulge the exact security plan, but did express his optimism for the affair.

    I like that! because it shows that you did ask but there was no response, but it shows it in a different way than most articles do

  2. usfadvancedreporting Says:

    Guavaween sounds like a plan to me! Good reporting

  3. usfadvancedreporting Says:

    I saw only one small spelling error, but good reporting. I liked this story, very infomative.

  4. usfadvancedreporting Says:

    looks good. The information is concise and it is interesting and news worthy. Maybe you could have check the arrest records from last years Guavaween date

  5. Aaron Says:

    Interesting statistic. You hear a lot of stories about violence at Guavaween.

  6. usfadvancedreporting Says:

    looks like she did check the records from last year:

    “According to last year’s crime statistics for Guavaween, there were no arrests made for major crimes. The majority of arrests made were for illegal alcohol possession by an underage person, and illegal possession of drugs.”

  7. usfadvancedreporting Says:

    Good reporting. I went to Guavaween and it was scary, but it sounds like the police have cracked down.

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