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Waukesha city leaders hope to purchase $800K worth of barricades after Christmas parade tragedy

Posted at 10:09 PM, Mar 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-22 23:16:53-04

WAUKESHA, Wisc. — Waukesha city leaders are looking to buy new high-tech barricades to block vehicles during big events.

Six people died and more than 60 people were injured in the Waukesha Christmas Parade tragedy. Now, city officials are hoping to purchase $800,000 worth of barricades to ensure safety.

"After the parade we recognized that we needed to do things to increase the level of security to make people safe," Waukesha City Administrator Kevin Lahner said.

Four months ago the unthinkable happened when Darrell Brooks drove his SUV through the parade. Lahner says there were barricades in place.

"We had barricades and vehicles in place at the time. Unfortunately, the individual (Brooks) went around the vehicles," Lahner said.

To ensure that never happens again, the city is enhancing safety by purchasing Mobile Vehicle Barrier Systems or MVB from Advanced Security Technologies for a hefty price.

The money would come from America Rescue Plan Act dollars and would ensure no vehicles breach parade routes.

Lahner says the MVB deploys relatively quickly and does not require a ton of man hours and can be moved if emergency vehicles need to get through.

"It's not like a cement barrier or large vehicle that is going to take a lot to move," he said.

So, how does it work?

"If something hits it, it basically disables the vehicle it pops it up and digs something into the asphalt and the vehicle is immobile," Lahner explained.

Lahner believes this added security measure will restore safety and security in residents.

"We want to make sure people feel safe when they are attending events in the city," Lahner said.

The Waukesha Finance Committee passed the motion and it now heads to the full council for approval on April 7.

If approved, city officials hope to have the barriers in place for the Memorial Day Parade.

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