Fiesta Safety: Bag policies, law enforcement presence, how to report suspicious activity

Local, state, federal agencies will have 24/7 surveillance at Fiesta events

SAN ANTONIO – As you get ready to start your fiesta celebrations, it’s likely you already have safety in mind.

With recent attacks at large events worldwide, safety is something everyone should be considering.

Local law enforcement wants the community to know, they’re ready.

“Almost as soon as Fiesta’s done one year, the preparations start for the following year,” said Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar.

Sheriff Salazar said BCSO will have deputies in full uniform and plain clothes, including street crime and gang units.

KSAT also checked in with the San Antonio Police Department, which had done walk-throughs, tabletop exercises, and other pieces of training to prepare for Fiesta.

Monday in the Alamodome parking lot, a massive SAPD substation was already set up and ready to go. They have similar vehicles across town.

That communication all funnels through this SAPD Fusion Center, a coordination of local, state, and even federal agencies keeping a constant eye on the events.


Part of the Fiesta safety situation includes the type of bag you bring to the events.

Each venue has different rules:

  • Battle of Flowers Band Festival -- you must have a clear bag
  • NIOSA -- you can only carry small bags, but clear bags encouraged
  • Taste of New Orleans -- water/hydration backpacks banned, all bags will be fully searched
  • Oyster Bake – there’s no bag policy (bring the bag you want) but everything is subject to search
  • King William Fair -- there’s no bag policy (bring the bag you want) but everything is subject to search
  • Fiesta Fiesta and the carnival in Alamodome parking lot -- there’s no bag policy (bring the bag you want)


The other thing that’s in the community’s hands is speaking up if they see something that looks “off.”

“That can be a suspicious person, a suspicious vehicle, or an unattended backpack or suitcase. Nowadays, we just don’t have the luxury of taking things for granted,” Salazar said.

In case of emergency, you can call:

  • 911 for any emergency
  • SAPD non-emergency line: (210) 207-7273
  • BCSO non-emergency line: (210) 335-6000

It’s also important to tell any first responder at the event.

“Even if it’s a firefighter, they know what to do and they know who to get in contact with,” Salazar said.


BCSO also had some tips for parents bringing kids to these events:

  • Look for the nearest exits and make sure your kids know where they are and when to use them.
  • Take a picture of your kids and what they’re wearing before you get to the event, so if they get lost, it will be easier to get help finding them.

“Rather than tell us, ‘My child was wearing just a red t-shirt’, if I can see that it’s a red t-shirt with Spiderman on the front of it by the picture, that’s much better. That picture can then be disseminated to to all the first responders working that event, so they can literally look at it on their phone as they’re scanning the crowds looking for that child,” Salazar explained.


Salazar also confirmed BCSO will be stepping up traffic patrol big time this year, to look for people driving while intoxicated.

They will be changing shifts to surge their deputies during peak times when people will be drinking. So, make sure you plan for a safe ride home.

About the Authors

Courtney Friedman anchors KSAT’s weekend evening shows and reports during the week. Her ongoing Loving in Fear series confronts Bexar County’s domestic violence epidemic. She joined KSAT in 2014 and is proud to call the SA and South Texas community home. She came to San Antonio from KYTX CBS 19 in Tyler, where she also anchored & reported.

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