Police were prepared for Perrysburg Township concert, but crowd never materialized

Perrysburg Township Police were expecting a crowd of up to 10,000 people Friday night, but the actual number of people in attendance was closer to 1,000.
Perrysburg Township Police were expecting a crowd of up to 10,000 people Friday night, but the actual number of people in attendance was closer to 1,000.

PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, OH (Toledo News Now) - Perrysburg Township Deputy Police Chief Mike Gilmore says his office was told to expect between 5,000 and 10,000 people at the "OG Hip Hop BBQ Festival" at the Perrysburg Heights Community Center on August 29. Gilmore says he estimates the crowd was actually closer to 1,000 people.

The Perrysburg Township Police Department says they spent the past three weeks preparing for the worst. No chances were taken with tear gas, disposable handcuffs and a swat and gang unit on hand.

Police even had a war book available complete with maps of the area, medical evacuation plans and placement of law enforcement in case the crowd got out of hand.

The concert originally promised big-name 90's hip hop groups, including Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Naughty by Nature and Coolio. But with many of the promised national acts dropping out at the last minute, or having never been made aware of the show, attendance was much lower than expected.

Still, Gilmore says his department had to prepare for the possibility of a large number of people converging on the Perrysburg Heights Community Center.

For that reason, Gilmore called in all 25 of his officers to work the event along with cops from Lake Township Police, Rossford Police, Owens Community College Police, Oregon Police, the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office, Northwood Police, Walbridge Police and Port Clinton Police.

The Oregon SWAT team was on hand to act as a 'rapid response unit' in case of any trouble. Gilmore says there were also five K9 units at the show.

Gilmore says Wood County Sheriff's Deputies were prepared to cover any calls in the township during the concert, as his officers were preoccupied. Perrysburg Police and Troopers with the Ohio State Highway Patrol were patrolling the area around the heights and ready to respond if needed.

As the day went on, it became clear the large police presence was not necessary. Gilmore says at one point he called Toledo Police to inform them Gang Unit officers who planned to come to Perrysburg Township would not be needed.

Still Gilmore says he is glad that they were prepared for anything.

"For us there were no arrests, no one got hurt and so it was a total success for us," said Gilmore. "It was costly there's no doubt about it. We were on overtime, then guys were on overtime 12 hours shifts,  the other departments were lending they were probably on overtime."

The cost of the amount of security is still being totaled but between overtime and supplies that had to be purchased the amount could be upwards of $20 to $25 thousand.

Gilmore says the Perrysburg Heights Community Center has agreed to pay the township $30 per hour per officer.

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