CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Cincinnati's soon-to-be dwindled police force is preparing for the busiest local weekend of the year.
Half a million people will descend on the riverfront on Sunday to celebrate Labor Day at Riverfest with all the pomp and circumstance the tradition usually carries. But it will go down as the worst day in a long time for the police department.
"We will provide safety we will provide the best safety we can," said Lt. Col. Vince Demasi with Cincinnati Police.
Riverfest also marks the last day on the job for 138 Cincinnati Police Officers.
Police say security will be the same as in past years, just with less officers directing traffic. But morale will be far from the same.
"We desperately need 'em," said Demasi. "These aren't people we don't use. These are the best and brightest and it's gonna affect us deeply."
Demasi says despite the loss, all Cincinnati Police Officers are sworn to protect and serve the public, and that's what they will continue to do.
"I can tell you that they're exceptional people and I can tell you their loss will be deeply felt by us all," he said.
Police are far from concerned about Riverfest. Demasi says that last year there was one arrest, and there were two arrests in 2007. They just ask that everyone be patient with traffic, because anytime you have half a million people in one place, there will be tie ups.
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