Multiple police departments will be part of keeping people safe during Fan Fest

The Toledo Police Department will be working with multiple agencies for The Solheim Cup event.
The Solheim Cup event is expected to draw tens of thousands to downtown
Published: Aug. 17, 2021 at 5:56 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - With tens of thousands of people expected in downtown Toledo during The Solheim Cup Fan Fest celebration, there’s a need for a multi-layered security effort. A number of agencies have joined forces to make it happen.

There are plenty of big events in downtown Toledo. From Jeep Fest to the concert series in Promenade Park, the summer season often draws thousands of people to the city. Fan Fest is expected to take those crowds to another level.

“Teamwork is not only important, it is almost a prerequisite,” says Toledo Police Chief George Kral. “We can’t handle that capacity by ourselves.”

Chief Kral says there will be multiple layers to what the officers from multiple departments will be doing.

“You’ll see officers in uniform, there will be plainclothes officers in the crowd,” he explains. “There will be people watching over the crowd. We will have our Skycop cameras down here. We will have a comprehensive view of everything going on in downtown Toledo.”

The planning process started about two years ago with meetings at least once a month. Officers from Mercy Health and the ProMedica police departments are part of the safety force for Fan Fest.

“It’s an honor to be part of something like this,” says Captain Dan Paez, who heads up the ProMedica Police Department. “We are prepared to expect the unexpected. There will be a lot of big crowds, so we are looking at how we get people in and out. We have to plan for things like medical emergencies. We are taking everything into account. Of course, the hope is that they don’t happen. But if they do, we are prepared.”

“Many times our interactions are when something bad is happening, so to be able to interact on a positive level at an event like this is something we all enjoy and I enjoy personally,” adds Chief Everett Wehrly, of the Mercy Health Police Department. “Mercy Health has been in downtown for more than 150 years. We provide safety and security every day in the hospital setting. This is an extension of that work. We are proud to be a part of helping make sure the community can have a good time.”

Chief Kral says collaboration is nothing new for the departments.

“This isn’t just for The Solheim Cup,” he says. “We collaborate and form partnerships all the time, the citizens just don’t see it.”

That teamwork will help show the world, the beautiful city we call home.

“Coming together, making schedules, and planning all this looks seamless, but it is a huge undertaking. It’s impressive. I have been involved since day one. Watching everyone come together for the greater good is incredible,” says Chief Kral.

Members of the U.S. Coast Guard will also be part of the effort to keep everyone safe during Fan Fest. They will of course be patrolling the river.

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