Extra state troopers expected at RI PrideFest

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Aftershocks from the Orlando Nightclub Massacre have reached as far as Providence amid preparation for the 40th Annual PrideFest celebration.

Rhode Island is celebrating Pride month with its LGBT festival this weekend. In light of the Orlando shootings, Rhode Island leaders have been evaluating new safety and security concerns for the event.

RELATED: RI Pride still a go in wake of Orlando

Col. Steven O’Donnell, the Superintendent of Rhode Island State Police, said in an interview with Eyewitness News he’s been in contact with Providence Police and offered more troopers for the weekend.

“We’re going to have extra troopers at the events,” he said. “we’ve also talked to the people who may believe they can be victims of this based on the victimization that happened in Orlando. [We’re] trying to put people to make them comfortable and make sure if there are copycats, we’re as prepared as possible.”

Mayor Jorge Elorza said he would be meeting with city public safety officials about the security for the events.

“We’re redoubling our efforts to make sure everyone is safe and everyone can enjoy their time in the here in the city,” Elorza said.

Governor Gina Raimondo will also be in attendance at PrideFest, telling Eyewitness News she thinks it is particularly important she attend the parade this year.

The massacre in Orlando has left 49 victims dead and 53 wounded, making it the deadliest mass shooting in American history.

Around the world, officials and public figures are expressing condemnation and shock over the Florida mass shooting. Locally, a number of vigils are have been scheduled, including a 6 p.m. event at Roger Williams National Memorial in Providence Tuesday evening.

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