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In this weekend’s Wilton Manors Pride event, police will secure the festival as well as march in the parade.

The news comes as controversy brews in places such as New York City where officials banned uniformed police from participating.

Locally though there doesn’t seem to be much controversy at all, at least according to Wilton Manors Police Chief Gary Blocker, or the CEO of the Wilton Manors Entertainment Group Jeffrey Sterling, whose group is organizing this year’s Wilton Manors Stonewall Parade and Street Festival.

Some local activists though have a different opinion.

“The police represent so much of that harm – the harm of sex workers, the harm to trans and non-binary folks, the harm to Black and Brown folks, to Black and Brown queer folks,” said Landon Woolston, founder of Transpire Trainings & Consulting, an entity educating corporations and businesses on the best practices around trans and non-binary communities.

This is why he added that police should not be featured in the Pride celebration.

Blocker said there are no policing issues within the city.

“We treat everybody with dignity and respect and we look to continue to forge partnerships with our community,” he said.

Issues with police inclusion have not come up and have not been discussed in law enforcement’s planning on Stonewall Pride security, he said.

“We have not heard anything like that,” he said. “Our community expects us to be there.”

However, reporting by the South Florida Sun Sentinel provides evidence the issue of excessive police force is in fact an issue locally.  The Sentinel’s reporting showed local police departments have used excessive force toward the Black community within their K9 divisions.

Jayce Roach, who is Black and identifies as transmasculine, and has done community work in Wilton Manors, said the presence of the police at Stonewall is problematic and he does not see enough Black, Brown and trans voices among the boards of local organizers.

“These event organizers need to have Black and Brown people at the table in order to really be inclusive of all folks in this rainbow,” he said.

Wilton Manors City Commissioner Chris Caputo said he has not heard of any objections to including police in Stonewall Pride.

Wilton Manors LGBT rights activist Michael Rajner said he trusts the city’s police force and would like to see the creation of a citizens review board.

“I think if police agencies are engaging authentically to respond to our community's needs, then they should be welcome to march, but if they're not engaging in an honest, authentic attempt to fix policy or improve on things, then no, they shouldn't be welcomed,” he said.

Sterling said the need for quality security was the major reason to use police personnel.

“Our number one concern is not a successful event, it's a safe event,” Sterling said.

Organizations such as Reclaim Pride Coalition, an alternative Pride group in New York City, have argued corporations and politicians have exploited Pride for political and financial gain, and Pride was originally a protest against oppression by police, the state and society.

Woolston supports safe events but felt better alternatives to policing exist.

“I don't think any folks are saying ‘let's not have any form of security,’ but I do think that community policing is possible,” he said.

The Fort Lauderdale mounted unit, the Sheriff’s Department and Wilton Manors Police Department will be among the law enforcement marching in the parade, Sterling said.