The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

November 15, 2012

Timely requests: EPD asks groups to follow event permit guidelines

By Cass Rains, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Enid Police Department is asking groups and organizations that host events, to follow guidelines for special events permits by filing timely requests.

Chief Brian O’Rourke and Capt. Dean Grassino said there has been an increase in the number of events being hosted downtown and throughout Enid. However, there also is a growing trend of organizers waiting too long to seek permits.

City ordinance requires a request for a special events permit be filed at least 30 days prior to the event’s date. If not filed in that time, the permit for the event could be denied, the ordinance warns.

“It makes it more difficult when you get a late entry or multiple events on one weekend,” O’Rourke said. “We don’t mind these events. We have to have time for planning.

“If I can’t staff it, I’m going to deny it. It puts a strain on us.”

Grassino said the department averages two to three special event permit requests a week.

“Some weeks we don’t get any, but then there are weeks we get four or five,” he said.

Grassino said special events not only take police resources, but also require resources from the city street and solid waste departments to prepare for events.

“When you only have a few days, it’s pretty difficult,” Grassino said of planning for special events.

O’Rourke and Grassino both said plans also must be reviewed for public safety issues, ensuring Enid Fire Department and Life EMS are notified of which roads will be blocked during events.

He also said event organizers need to consider other needs of the community and businesses when planning an event.

“People need to review what impact it may have on some of those businesses,” O’Rourke. “I’d like for them to contact those businesses and speak with them, too.”

O’Rourke said organizers also should have some volunteers to man barricades for events.

“We can’t simply pull an officer off duty to man a barricade,” Grassino said. “We’d have to pull them off other duties.

“We want to do it safely, we want to do it successfully and we want everyone to have a good time.”

Permit applications can be picked up at the police department 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Applications also may be faxed by contacting the Records Division at 242-700.

Applications are numbered and dated to ensure timely review and include an information sheet for the event and it’s planners, as well as a map for proposed road barricades or closures. Applicants may include their own maps with applications.

To review the city ordinance pertaining to special events permits go to http://www.sterlingcodifiers.com/codebook/index.php?book_id=514 and click on the link for Title 7 — Chapter 6: Parades; Special Events.