If you’ve ever gone to a Carnival parade, you’ve probably found yourself impatiently staring down the road, wondering how much longer it will be until the parade arrives. Thanks to the St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office, parade-goers can rest easy at the Knights of Nemesis’ 14th annual parade set to roll Feb. 23 at 1 p.m. in Chalmette.
For the sixth consecutive year, St. Bernard Sheriff James Pohlmann said the department’s Mobile Emergency Operations Center will lead the parade, posting regular location updates on the Sheriff’s Office Facebook and Twitter pages along the way. The parade also will be streamed live on the Sheriff’s Office YouTube Channel. A link to the YouTube Channel will be posted on the SBSO Facebook page the day of the parade.
Manned each year by Maj. Angela Huff, Capt. Charles Borchers and Capt. Bret Bowen, the department’s mobile command unit essentially controls the running of the parade by coordinating closures of main cross streets as the parade approaches and making adjustments in the speed of the procession.
Capt. Bowen, who maintains and operates the mobile command unit, said throughout the duration of the parade they communicate with deputies along the route who keep them informed of any circumstances that may affect the parade’s flow, including tractor breakdowns or any other mishaps.
While Capt. Bowen is driving, Maj. Huff and Capt. Borchers take care of the social media updates, including posting information about delays and photos from along the route. A camera mounted to the mobile command unit will provide the live YouTube streaming.
Capt. Bowen said utilizing the unit and technology helps provide relief for the Sheriff’s Office Radio Room, or 911 Center, during parades.
“The main reason we started this was if you wanted to know where the parade was before you would call the Sheriff’s Office,” he said. “So now, thanks to the use of social media, we can post information on our Facebook and Twitter accounts to help alleviate the number of calls we get that tie up our lines and prevent more important calls from coming through.”
This year’s Nemesis parade, featuring more than 15 floats, nearly two dozen marching units and more than 250 riders, will follow the traditional route, beginning and ending at the Frederick J. Sigur Civic Center, 8245 W. Judge Perez Drive, with U-turns at the intersections near Dr. Meraux Boulevard and Campagna Drive.