It is one of our favorite quotes of recent times, notable for its accuracy and its understatement. “We have a rich history of nightlife here,” said Steve Glinke, Forest Park’s fire chief, responding to a question from the Review as to whether last week’s St. Patrick’s Day parade was any rowdier than usual.
Glinke said he and Police Chief Jim Ryan are carefully monitoring parade activity and actively comparing incidents to previous years. Their conclusion: This year’s parade and the hours of “rich history” that followed were about par for the course.
Glinke acknowledged that the death of a parade-goer after he collapsed on the Circle Avenue bridge, cast a pall over the day. But he was unwilling to cite a cause and effect connection to the parade. The victim stumbled off the sidewalk and into the traffic lanes on the bridge where he was struck by a driver who not ticketed.
Another solid Glinke quote was, “If I had a concern I would express it.” And we believe that, too.
At a time when Forest Parkers have grown somewhat wary about large scale public events and two – Summerfest and the 4th of July festivities – have been cancelled over safety concerns, we’re encouraged by Glinke’s take on the Irish parade. Yes, some people drink, too much. Most people don’t. And police and fire personnel are actively on hand to maintain the peace.