The festivities surrounding the induction of new members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame includes a parade through the streets of Canton and that parade will be a little bit different this year.
According to Josh Alper of ProFootballTalk, Canton Police Department Captain Jack Angelo said that there will be a heightened police presence at this year’s parade after several problems last year, including an accidental shooting of a man by a police officer. An officer fell while responding to a call about a fight involving a man with a gun and his firearm went off when he went down. The worst of the incidents was when bullet fragments wound up in the leg of a man named Eric E. Street Jr.
Shockingly for an event that is supposed to be catered to fans of football historym Angelo also said that there were nearly 30 people arrested before the parade even started last year for things like disorderly conduct, rowdiness, fighting and public intoxication. This year’s stepped-up police presence is designed to make the event more enjoyable for the people who are there to enjoy the parade.
“The majority of the people out there are just there to get a seat,” Angelo said, via the Canton Repository. “It’s tradition: they go out there and they enjoy themselves. It’s the groups of people who are just out there overnight to cause problems before the parade even starts. It’s a small percentage, but they take up 90 percent of our time. They roam from one end of Cleveland Avenue to the other and they just have problems wherever they go.”
It is shocking that the city of Canton is beginning to have enough problems with crowd control at the prestigious Hall of Fame event that heightened police presence needs to be discussed. For a parade of old football players it seems odd that troublemakers would go out of their way to make this their event.
This year’s Hall of Fame Parade is on August 3 and will honor inductees Bill Parcells, Warren Sapp, Cris Carter, Larry Allen, Jonathan Ogden, Curley Culp and Dave Robinson.