WEST VILLAGE — This Sunday's Gay Pride Parade will have a greater police presence and be safe to attend after the mass shooting that targeted a gay nightclub in Orlando, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner William Bratton said Thursday.
"You will be safe. You will be protected," de Blasio said during a press conference at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center in the West Village.
In response to the shooting which killed 49 people on June 12, crowds at the parade are expected to be even larger than last year's 1.6 million attendees.
The parade will have 20,000 participants on hundreds of floats.
"You can expect to see more police and you can expect to feel very comfortable attending this parade," Bratton said, before exhorting all to come celebrate.
"Gay or straight, come on down," he added.
There have been no specific threats to the parade or surrounding activities, de Blasio said, but Bratton said the department will "err on the side of caution" by beefing up its presence of both uniformed and plain clothes officers.
"You won't have to look far to find an officer," said NYPD Chief of Patrol Carlos Gomez.
Dave Studinski, NYC Pride executive board co-chair, said a strong showing at the parade is important, especially after a specific attack against the gay community.
"The worst thing that we can do as a community is to hide," said Studinski.
"Many of started in closets. The last thing we should do is go back in them."