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Tomfoolery has limits at St. Patrick's parade Police will watch for beer and brawls

Buffalo police will crack down on alcohol consumption, rowdy behavior and illegal alcohol sales Sunday at the St. Patrick's parade.

City officers and members of several other agencies will be "on hand to ensure quality-of-life ordinances and public nuisance laws" are enforced, the Buffalo Police Department said in a statement.

"We're going to be on hand to enforce the law," said Daniel Derenda, deputy police commissioner of operations.

"We don't want things to get out of hand. We want people and families to have a good time and enjoy themselves in a safe environment."

In past years, revelers often have been seen consuming alcohol along the route, leaving beer bottles and cans scattered on streets and sidewalks. Few arrests were made for such offenses, veteran police officers said.

Authorities will watch for "illegal vending, open containers and disorderly conduct," the order said.

The annual parade will begin at 2 p.m. in Niagara Square and move up Delaware Avenue to North Street.

The crackdown appears to correspond to the new city administration's zero-tolerance enforcement on quality-of-life crimes.

"It's a standing policy in the City of Buffalo to enforce laws, whether it's St. Patrick's Day, New Year's Eve, . . . whatever," Derenda said.

State Liquor Authority investigators will watch for underage drinking at neighborhood bars, police say.

The city's Licenses Department, Public Works Department and Streets Division also will enforce laws.

City workers will make sure vendors on the parade route comply with city ordainances, officials say.

Shortly before the parade, traffic will be shut down on Delaware Avenue, from Niagara Square to North Street, and on all cross streets, from Mohawk to North, between Elmwood Avenue and Franklin Avenue, Traffic Lt. Thomas J. Masterson said.

Vehicles that ignore the special event "no parking" signs posted along the parade route will be "tagged and towed," which has been a common practice for years, Masterson said.

e-mail: vthomas@buffnews.com

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