Siouxland officials get serious about parade safety protocols

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — The accidental death of a 12-year-old boy during a homecoming parade last Friday is getting the attention of other school districts and police departments.

Sioux City Police Sgt. Jeremy McClure said his department hopes to learn how to improve their parade procedures.

“Even during the summer, we’ve had incidents, McClure said. “Luckily, no one’s gotten hurt at any of our parades but looking at the experience Sloan’s had and the experiences we had this summer, we’re always looking for ways that we can improve and so I definitely think there’s going to be a re-emphasis on safety.”

McClure said traffic around parades is problematic.

“This is a huge safety concern because there’s kids all around and they may be running for a piece of candy that was left on the street and they’re not paying attention, so it’s hugely incumbent upon drivers to just be safe, follow the roadblocks,” McClure said.

Tonia Warzecha, the superintendent of Dakota Valley Schools, said parade safety starts long before the floats hit the road.

“Will discussions take place? Absolutely,” Warzecha said. “Will we be visiting with the parade participants, just reiterating safety procedures and protocols? Absolutely, because that’s best practice and we should be doing that all of the time.”

For Warzecha, a safe parade is short and sweet.

“I do think that the length of the parade route and quite frankly, the simplicity of the parade route also helps to just have some built-in safety factors that we’re lucky to have,” Warzecha said.

Warzecha said this year’s Dakota Valley homecoming parade had about 50 floats and had no accidents. She hopes further emphasizing safety with parade members will keep it that way.

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