Sunnyside police use extra security for Cinco de Mayo

SUNNYSIDE, Wash. -- With any celebration comes the possibility of something going wrong. That's why Sunnyside police kept a close watch on events for Cinco de Mayo over the weekend.

It was no small feat. With crowds swarming Sunnyside, 15 officers worked at any given time to keep people safe.

Sergeant Joey Glossen was in charge of security at the event. He said it took five months planning in advance to make sure this was a safe environment.

"It's important to make sure that security is well organized and ready to respond before something gets out of hand," said Sgt. Glossen.

With more than 20,000 people at the weekend event, day-round security was needed.

With an event this big, people KIMA spoke with said they were glad to see police monitor the parade to keep trouble out and said there were deputies all over the area to make sure everything was safe.

Judith Lundean has lived in Sunnyside for ten years. She said she's not afraid of going downtown but the extra security makes the public feel better.

"I was downtown yesterday and I noticed there were far more security than what there had been in the past few years," said Lundean.

With a safer environment, turnout has grown over the years. The extra vigilance has helped keep gang violence off the streets.

"You know, five years ago you wouldn't see all the kids running around," said Sgt. Glossen. "It's become more of a family environment."

An environment that has allowed families to feel a little more at ease while still enjoying Cinco De Mayo.

Sunnyside police said they ramped up their security mostly because of gangs. Most of the police calls this year were for minor things like public intoxication.