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Gay Pride Festival organizers voice security concerns after Orlando shooting

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SEATTLE -- Some Seattle gay pride organizers are voicing new security concerns after the deadly shooting in Orlando.

Charlette LeFevre, who helps run the Capitol Hill Pride Festival, worries Seattle Police won’t have enough officers to keep everyone safe.

LeFevre said the neighborhood along Broadway is the heart of the LGBT community and believes more officers should be working in the area during pride weekend.

Seattle Police told Q13 News that pride weekend is an all-hands-on-deck situation and the department will have officers everywhere, but LeFevre isn’t so sure it will be enough.

“I just want everyone to be safe and be careful of their surroundings and just have fun,” said Terry Nuon, who works at Lifelong AIDS Alliance on Broadway.

Ever since the deadly shooting took nearly 50 lives in Orlando,  Florida, Nuon said he’s worries about what could happen during pride weekend in Seattle.

“It was quite scary and traumatic to be honest,” he said.

During pride weekend, which begins June 25, five city blocks along Broadway will close down for the Capitol Hill Pride Festival. It is one of several LGBT pride events happening in Seattle.

LeFevre gathered local business owners from along Broadway on Tuesday to share their security concerns.

“We’re still requesting security and SPD to increase security here in the heart of the LGBT community,’ she said.

Seattle Police restated to Q13 News that security during pride weekend will be the department’s top priority, especially in light of what happened in Florida.

Still, LeFevre worries it might not be enough to convince pride-goers that Seattle will be safe.

“This is the area where you have the predominant clubs, bars, restaurants and stages,” she said. “Yes the parade is important, yes other events, but do not forget this event.”

While Nuon hopes nothing bad happens during this year’s festivals, he plans to show his pride out loud for everyone to see.

“To show them that we’re not afraid and we can come together as one,” he said.

City officials told Q13 News that Seattle Police plan to train nightclub security workers how to handle an active-shooter scenario sometime next week, prior to pride weekend.