Area Police Making Security Plans for Roar on the Shore
We’ve got continuing coverage on the decision to move the Roar on the Shore motorcycle rally from the city of Erie to the Lake Erie Speedway in North East.
The organizers moved it, because they didn't want to pay what the city of Erie was asking for services, like police protection and clean up.
A massive event like Roar on the Shore is going to require some big security, as it typically does, but now that it's no longer in the city of Erie, we wanted to know who's handling security.
Organizers say Roar on the Shore 2019 is expected to draw more than 165,000 motorcycle enthusiasts from across the United States and Canada.
And with that many people converging on the area, safety and security is a concern.
So, because the main event is now in North East, Pennsylvania State Police will be the primary law enforcement agency, tasked with crowd control, traffic enforcement, and responding to any area accidents, “Just with larger events like this, obviously it takes time to plan you have to bring resources in, make sure we have enough manpower, we are the primary agency that's going to be covering this jurisdiction, so we just have to make sure we're prepared for it,” said Trooper Cindy Schick.
Local State Police brass are set to meet this Thursday with the Roar on the Shore board to talk logistics.
But as of yet, Roar organizers have not notified State Police of any help or logistical support they may need, “At this point, we're just trying to gather the resources we have within our department, we were not informed of this prior to it going out to the media,” Tpr. Schick said.
And in the borough of North East, the police department was not aware the massive Roar on the Shore rally would be coming their way, but Lt. Daniel Schenk isn’t worried about the potential influx of visitors to the area, ““I think we're going to see a lot more people coming down to our local businesses in the community so of course we're going to see an influx in town,” said Lt. Schenk.
Lt. Schenk says the department handles crowd control, traffic, and an increase in calls for service for major annual events like the Cherry Festival and Wine Festival, which both bring massive amounts of people to the borough.
So, with their seven full time and four part time officers, so they are more than prepared for any crowds the Roar may bring their way, “We're just going to treat it as we do anything else, we have Cherry Fest, we have Wine Fest in this area, so we're just going to adjust to see what the population is, see what's going on and we'll have to adjust how many officers we have on duty,” said Lt. Schenk.
According to its website, The Lake Erie Speedway has its own security personnel, no word if they’re adding officers or if the Roar on the Shore has to pay for that security.
The Speedway referred our questions to Roar on the Shore organizers, Erie News Now reached out to the Executive Director, Ralph Pontillo, who did not respond to our questions.
We also wanted to know what the plan is for the Bringing in the Roar Parade, which always began at Presque Isle Downs and Casino, and went through the city of Erie to Perry Square.
State Police say they have to prepare for traffic enforcement for that route, but there's no word from Roar on the Shore organizers exactly what the route is as of yet. We asked Pontillo directly what the planned route is now, so the spectators who enjoyed the parade, and participants and police could plan ahead, but again, he did not respond to our question.