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Police Presence To Increase At San Francisco Pink Saturday Pride Event

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A participant takes part during the 2009 San Francisco Pride pride parade. (David Paul Morris/Getty Images)

A participant takes part during the 2009 San Francisco Pride pride parade. (David Paul Morris/Getty Images)

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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – The San Francisco Police Department will increase patrols for the Pink Saturday Gay Pride celebration this weekend following deadly violence at the event a year ago.

Around the time the Pink Saturday street party event was wrapping up in 2010, shots rang out and Stephen Powell, 19, was shot to death.

“We’ve worked with the community to make it safer and hopefully Pink Saturday will go off like it always had been, and last year is just going to be an anomaly,” offered SFPD Chief Greg Suhr, who explained there would be more officers on duty. And, those officers have been instructed to be more interactive with the community while on the beat.

“This is not a costume party,” Suhr described Pink Saturday. “This is a celebration of gay pride that precedes the big march the next day.”

KCBS’ Margie Shafer Reports:

Suhr previously served as captain of SFPD’s Mission District station, which oversees the largely gay Castro neighborhood, where the Pink Saturday street party has taken place for the past decade. It is organized by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and is supposed to be an alcohol-free event this year – meaning alcohol consumption is banned outside of restaurants or bars.

KCBS Reporter Anna Duckworth spoke to business owners and police about their plans for Pride weekend:

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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