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Portland Pride Festival will have new form of security to help keep people safe

Posted June 16

— The Portland Pride Festival could break all records this weekend. That's why organizers said safety is their number one concern.

"Tension is high. I can't say it's a unique year but it's an elevated year in terms of tension and emotions. We all feel it right now," said Debra Porta, executive director of Pride Northwest.

Porta is helping to organize Portland's Pride Festival. She said for the very first time, a "Peace Keeping Team" will be a part of the large and colorful crowd.

Porta said they have a new team of 30 people all trained in de-escalation techniques, who will be in close communication with Portland Police.

"We have protocols in place for response to anything that may happen," said Porta.

There will be another first for Portland this year – Uber will "Ride with Pride." The riding app is teaming up with three beloved drag queens to perform quick pop-up shows for riders.

"I could never see a drag queen popping out of a car and doing a performance right then and there," said Alexis Campbell Starr, a local beloved drag queen. "This way you can experience it in your own way in your own space."

Starr said she hopes this is a step toward regaining trust in the Rose City.

"Hate can't stop my pride, honey," she said.

Copyright 2017 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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