By Ruben Vives
12:43 PM PST, December 31, 2013
In the wake of national tragedies like the Boston Marathon bombing, Pasadena police and fire officials said they are stepping up security for the annual Tournament of Roses Parade and Rose Bowl game.
The Pasadena Police Department said it will use police dogs and undercover officers, and it has received permission from business owners to access surveillance security cameras, all in an effort to ensure the safety of the estimated 800,000 people who are expected to descend on the city on New Year's Day.
Police and fire officials, who announced the security measures at a news conference on Monday, also called for the public’s help in reporting any suspicious activity to the authorities.
Early in December, police and fire officials launched a “See Something, Say Something” campaign to remind the public of its role in the security measures.
“Be vigilant,” Pasadena Fire Chief Calvin Wells said in a YouTube video posted on the city’s website.
The announcement of beefed-up security was also made as criticism continues to build over the announcement of the first same-sex wedding ceremony that will take place during the Rose Parade.
As part of its float “Living the Dream: Love Is the Best Protection,” the AIDS Healthcare Foundation said Aubrey Loots, 42 and Danny Leclair, 45, a couple from Los Angeles, will get married during the parade. They have been together for more than 10 years.
The AIDS organization said the float was created to celebrate victories in 2013 for the same-sex marriage movement, including Supreme Court decisions upholding the repeal of California's Proposition 8 and striking down a key part of the Defense of Marriage Act.
The planned ceremony has sparked some criticism and anger, including a Facebook page calling for a boycott of the parade.
The Boycott the 2014 Rose Parade Facebook page had received more than 6,000 likes as of midday Tuesday.
The AIDS organization float isn’t the only one that seems to be enraging people.
Members of the People for the Ethical Treatment plan to hold a protest over the design of the Sea World float.
PETA is calling for the float to be removed or redesigned because it is deceptive of life for captive orcas at Sea World.
Authorities said they are prepared for any planned demonstrations.
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