Tampa Police Plans Strict Patrols During Gasparilla

Officer Mike Cimo and the rest of the Tampa Police Department understand that the Southwest Airlines Gasparilla Pirate Fest is an important celebration for the entire region. They also believe in issuing citations for people who take the celebration a little too far.

“All normal laws and regulations will be followed,” said Cimo.

Tampa police will be keeping a close watch at this year’s festival and will be especially cautious of a few things, one of them being alcohol consumption.

“We will be watching out for underage drinking,” says Cimo. “Any one under 18 will be brought to their parents, and anyone over 18 will be brought to jail.”

Rules have been put in place to limit access to alcoholic beverages outside of Gasparilla. For instances, there are no coolers or glass bottles of any kind allowed. The official website for Gasparilla states these are safety hazards.

Parking violations will be enforced. Cimo believes there are enough options for UT students to use to get to the parade.

“The best thing for students would be to just walk down from campus,” said Cimo. “Otherwise, there will be shuttles from other places, like Raymond James Stadium. Everything will be posted throughout the area. The newspapers will post it everyday up to Saturday morning.”

For those planning on spending their time on boats, Cost Guard, Tampa Police, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Hillsborough and Pinellas County Sheriff’s Offices will be out in full force.

“We will be following all regulations. We’ll be looking for intoxicated drivers, nudity and crowding limitations on the boat.”

Cimo also cautions students on the increased chance of theft. The parade is an ideal place for looters and pickpocketers.

“They should make sure that their money is in a secured place,” he said. “Students should also have an ID with them. The best thing is to take only what you need.”

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