New security cameras to be tested at Holyoke parade

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – State Police plan to keep a very close eye on all activities along the Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade route this Sunday. Massachusetts State Police have installed about 80 surveillance cameras along the parade route.

Parade day Sunday will be a test run for those cameras that will then be moved to the streets of Boston, for the 118th Boston Marathon.

On Sunday, hundreds of thousands of people are expected to line the streets of  Holyoke to watch the annual St. Patrick’s Parade. But there will be another set of eyes watching all activities along the route.

State Police will test out a camera surveillance system, which will be used during the Boston Marathon next month.

Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse told 22News the cameras will come down after the parade, but the idea is to make sure the cameras work well when there’s a massive crowd to ensure everyone’s safety.

“There’s no question that the parade has been a successful event in the past,” said Mayor Morse. “We don’t expect anything to happen. But again if we can play a part in making sure that Boston and the Boston Marathon will be safer this year than last year, then we want to help be a part of that.”

Audio sensing technology will be used along the parade route as well. That system can pinpoint exact locations of loud noises. That includes gunfire.

Many people told 22News they’re not too concerned about security, but they don’t mind that extra level of police involvement.

David Standen told 22News he grew up in Holyoke. He said, “No, I don’t really have any worry. I mean everybody’s going to have their eyes open, and just be more aware of things around you, looking for things that seem to be out of place. And let the police know about it and let them handle it.”

His son Sean Standen said, “Mayor Morse said just like the parades we’ve seen in the past, there will be police officers and emergency personnel along the route as well.”