Hundreds of state, county and local police officers patrol downtown Savannah to ensure St. Patrick’s Day is a safe one.
For those who do violate city ordinates, the city planned for a “pop-up court” to quickly handle the citation process.
But things didn’t go according to plan, as officials said it was a bit too ambitious.
“We have to have the right atmosphere,” said Court Administrator Buddy Clay. “We advise people of their due rights. We make sure they have due process.
“That needs to be done in an environment where they realize they’re in the right court setting and we have to be very careful about those issues.”
Clay said it was back to “Plan A” for the day, meaning there was no Recorder’s Court stationed in Chippewa Square.
“The idea of having a judge present in the square wasn’t the best idea,” he said. “It wasn’t that we were reluctant to do it — it just wasn’t the best plan.”
Instead of a judge, dozens of police officers stood in the square to protect from litter. In year’s past, Chippewa Square has seen it’s fair share of trash post-parade.
But this year, the party and extra police moved to a chaotic scene in Wright Square.
“Right now, we’re just doing things to stop people from getting in trouble,” said Justin Anderson with the Savannah Police Department (SPD).
An unexpected number of visitors in the square forced officers to close paths and thin crowds that left beer cans and cups on the ground. And for the most part, people did listen when SPD asked them to move.
People walking through the area said they felt safe.
“It seemed like the crowd was tame all things considered,” said paradegoer Kris Baucom.
For those who may have been cited, officials tell News 3 court appearances will happen in mid-April.
And as the parade ended, the clean up began. It’s expected to continue Sunday morning once the festival ends downtown.