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Spanish Town organizers say festivities unchanged despite police staffing shortage
BATON ROUGE - Spanish Town is getting ready to roll out the pink carpet for this year's ball at the River Center. After many months of cancellations, the organization is happy to get back into the swing of things.
“It feels awesome, we’re all excited. We have our ball coming up this Saturday, and we’re sold out. Everybody that’s coming to the ball is excited. They’ve been missing it. They’re ready to get back to a normal life and enjoy, and we’re ready to go," said Robert King, president Mystic Krewe for the Preservation of Lagniappe in Louisiana dba SPLL.
With BRPD Chief Murphy Paul announcing just last week that a shortage within the force could cause complications, concerns arose for the future of upcoming parades and events. The department usually has about 50 open positions, but this year, that number is at 100.
“We need boots on the ground for these strategies to work. We have to fill these vacancies. That’s our number one priority," Chief Paul said.
Even with those facts, King says he was able to obtain a permit for the Spanish Town Ball with ease and is not worried about a lack of manpower for his events.
“We have not heard anything about that. I know we have to go through the Baton Rouge police to be able to get the permit, so I mean I know that we have a permit signed, sealed, delivered, and everything’s a-go," King said.
This year's Spanish Town Ball is set for February 5 at the River Center. The Spanish Town Parade will roll on February 26.
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