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MNPD Employees Allowed To Wear Uniforms At Equality Walk

Posted at 5:53 PM, Jun 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-24 20:37:15-04

For the first time in Metro Nashville Police Department history, employees have been allowed to walk Nashville Pride's Equality Walk wearing their uniforms.

Special Events Coordinator Lt. David Leavitt told NewsChannel 5 the decision from Chief Steve Anderson is to show support to people of all backgrounds.

"The chief felt that this year, especially based on Orlando, that it was important for the police department to show support for the LGBT commuynity and the city as a whole," Lt. Leavitt said.

The Equality Walk was set to start at 2nd Ave & Union in downtown on Saturday at 10 a.m. The Nashville Pride Festival & Concert has become especially important. The tragedy in Orlando and upcoming one-year anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage were factors into an expected huge crowd.

"We're expecting  betwewen 16-20,000 people here, it's going to be a great weekend," Nashville Pride President-Elect Phil Cobucci said.

Chief Anderson has asked for increase in security at this year's pride festival. Lt. Leavitt said there will be 12 to 20 additional officers volunteering on top of hired security. That means security has increased two to three times more compared to last year.

"If we can make people feel safe and enjoy the event, then I've done my job and that makes me happy," Lt. Leavitt shared.

In addition to wearing uniforms, police department employees can also carry a banner to show their support.