Galveston PD prioritizes safety as Mardi Gras winds down

GALVESTON, Texas – Galveston was packed with people Saturday for the last weekend of Mardi Gras.

For the crowds of people coming to Mardi Gras, it's all about having a good time.

But while the music blares and the beads fly, police surround the festivities to make sure those crowds don't get rowdy.

"We want this to be a good, safe family event," Galveston Police Chief Henry Porretto said. "We want people to be here, be festive, enjoy it but you have to drink responsibly."

Organizers of this year's Mardi Gras celebrations in Galveston estimate more than 300,000 people showed up.

While there was no shortage of alcohol, Galveston police say visitors have been on their best behavior.

"They're being respectful of other people," Porretto said. "They're being respectful of our laws and ordinances. Last week we only arrested 10 people for public intoxication."

Galveston police set up a command post that worked as a mini police station complete with a mobile detention center for up to 75 people and a separate trailer for bookings.

"We have the appropriate, skilled people in place," Porretto said. "We have contingency plans. We've planned for the worst, but we know we're going to have the best."

With the help of neighboring law enforcement agencies, Galveston police say they're ready for any kind of emergency.

"Our partnership with the Houston Police Department and Pasadena PD has been immeasurable this year," Porretto said.

The Galveston County Sheriff's Office and police with the University of Texas Medical Branch are also in Galveston to help.

The Galveston Police Department said it hasn't arrested a single person Saturday.