NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - A celebration of Caribbean culture stepped off Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn under very tight security on Monday. The annual J'ouvert festival and West Indian Day Parade draw huge crowds. But the events had issues with violence in the past.
Immediately after two murders last year, event organizers and community leaders met with police and city officials to come up with a new security plan. Their goal was to create a safe environment while celebrating Caribbean culture.
The West Indian American Day Parade was definitely much more family-friendly because of this year's alcohol ban.
More police officers than ever before were posted along the parade route, which was lined with metal barricades.
This year's J'ouvert festival came with some significant changes. It was given a new start time of 6 a.m., a definite parade route, plenty of portable street lights, and nearly 3,500 police officers. It was very different from the unorganized overnight street festival that took two lives last year and saw the murder of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's legal counsel, Carey Gabay, in 2015.
The city and community leaders put out the message early that no large backpacks or coolers would be allowed at the events, and that all participants were subject to search, with a zero-tolerance policy for any weapons.
Police said no incidents were reported at the J'ouvert parade.