TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Many people who attended the 40th Tucson Pride Festival said they noticed an increased law enforcement presence, from the moment they arrived at Reid Park for the annual celebration. From the bag checks at the entrance, to the Tucson Police officers walking through the grounds, the security was tight this year.
"We decided that to keep everybody safe here, we wanted to increase our security as well," event director Sean Saunders said.
Saunders explained the administration decided to increase security for the famous LGBT celebration last year, two months after 49 people were killed in the mass shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando. This year, Saunders said they'd increase security measures even more, due to the current political climate.
"We've increased our Tucson PD presence," Saunders said. "In previous years there's been anywhere from 5-7 officers, this year we went for 12."
While many people noticed the increase in security, many of them said it didn't get in the way of their celebrations.
"It's unfortunate that it's necessary, but it is what it is," Beth Diaz said. "They're all great and we're happy to have them out, so I think it's good."
Shawn Milligan said he wished it wasn't necessary.
"It's 2017, it should not be like this," he said.
He explained he didn't feel unsafe at all, but was happy to see others felt more comfortable because of the added security.
"I don't want to say it's overkill, because you never can be too safe," Milligan said. "You never can, unfortunately in today's climate, you never can be too safe."