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Normal PD says Leah Marlene’s concert took a lot of preparation and coordination in a short time




Normal town officials had less than two days to hold a huge parade and TV concert for Leah Marlene after she became an American Idol finalist.

Normal Police Chief Steve Petrilli said city staff learned of Marlene’s return plans late last week on the condition that she serve the final three. When Marlene made the top three in the talent shows on Sunday night, the city staff had to spring into action.

Petrilli said the event went well, largely because the Leah Marlene fans were so well behaved and in good spirits.

They understand. Everyone has done the advanced security measures. Private security was doing checks and bag checks and things like that at the entrances, Petrilli said. Everyone was very respectful, very patient and it ended up being a great event.

Petrilli said preparing for the event required a lot of coordination involving various city departments, including police, fire, administration, cultural arts, parks and recreation, public works and communications.

The normal PD relied on officers’ overtime and mutual aid to organize the parade and concert. He said the department had between eight and 12 officers providing security at the event, along with assistance from Bloomington police and a K-9 officer from Peoria.

Petrilli said the event could serve as a test run if Marlene makes it back and forth after Sunday’s “American Idol” finale. It’s already on our radar that if she were to keep moving forward in this process which, ultimately, American Idol, she could be back to do another gig which, by then, would probably be even bigger, said Petrilli.

Petrilli said there were no official estimates, but added that the crowd was likely in the thousands.




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