Kansas City had much to celebrate on Wednesday — not only the Chiefs' Super Bowl victory, but the fact that no one was seriously injured at its parade and rally.
“When you have hundreds of thousands of people gathered and you have two people charged with something and a minimal number of people detained for any type of investigation, that’s a good thing on the surface," said Kansas City Police Department Sgt. Jake Becchina.
Watch this video of Kansas City's daylong celebration:
Meanwhile, police reported late on Wednesday that their Lost Child Reunification points successfully reunited eight lost youth with their families.
"The LCR was new to this parade from the 2015 (Royals) one," Becchina wrote in an email to the media. "It involved several strategic points along the route on both sides designated as reunification points. The points then maintained contact with a centralized dispatch which took in reports of Found/Lost youth as well as parents who had lost their youth. This provided a smooth efficient operation. As I casually listened to the radio throughout the day I heard most reunifications were made in a matter of minutes or less."
The Kansas City Fire Department transported 24 people to the hospital, according to city spokesman Chris Hernandez. The fire department also responded to a number of injuries on site, including panic attacks and intoxication.
“We had a number of intoxicated individuals and we had a number of falls,” Kansas City Fire Department Assistant Chief Jimmy Walker said. “We had a gentleman fall out of a tree. We’ve had people fall off of walls around Liberty Memorial.”
The police department detained five people, Becchina said, but only two were booked into jail and face charges. This includes a DWI charge for a driver who broke through the barriers at the start of the parade route and had to be stopped by police ramming into his car near Crown Center.
On Thursday, Chief Rick Smith lauded the actions of officers on the scene.
“It was wonderful decision making on the parts of the officers that this ended without anybody getting hurt, including the suspects,” he said. “I can tell you all that I've talked to many officers who were on the route. We came this close to having a police-involved shooting.”
Smith estimated the chase reached speeds of 50-60 mph, even after police used “stop sticks” to puncture the car’s tires. They ended the chase by boxing the driver between police cars, which forced the driver to slow down. They then used what Smith called “tactical vehicle intervention” — commonly known as the pit maneuver — to bring the vehicle to a stop.
Parade cleanup started early in Wednesday evening and was expected to take overnight, according to Hernandez. About 150 staff members worked to pick up after the parade and rally. Residential trash and recycling collection Thursday and Friday were delayed a day so city workers could help with parade cleanup.
Julie Denesha is a freelance photographer and reporter for KCUR. Follow her on Twitter at @juliedenesha.
Aviva Okeson-Haberman is the Missouri government and politics reporter at KCUR 89.3. Follow her on Twitter at @avivaokeson.