Philadelphia police keep law, order during 'Day of Action'

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There was strong police presence as a couple hundred protesters marched down Broad Street on Thursday. (WPVI)

Chopper 6 was over the scene Thursday as a couple hundred protesters marched down Broad Street, creating gridlock and delaying SEPTA buses.

There was strong police presence along the route and no reported serious problems.

PHOTOS: Protesters march down Broad Street

After the rally, the Philadelphia Police Department's head of Homeland Security tweeted:

".@PhillyPolice grateful to all participating in today's March, 4 expressing their dissent cooperatively making their voices heard for sure!"

Before the rally, Chief Inspector Joe Sullivan spoke to Action News about the plan to keep the peace.

"Our goal is to make zero arrests. Our goal is to have a peaceful evening," said Sullivan.

Thursday's march is likely good practice for the police force, which is preparing for more and much larger protests during the Democratic National Convention in July.

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'Day of Action' protests march down Broad Street.

Much like today, protesters will push to have their voice heard on a variety of social and economic issues from increasing the minimum wage to prison overpopulation.

Handling protests isn't anything new says Sullivan who says a key to success is their mindset to create a safe environment for people to demonstrate.

"Another reason for our success is our consistency in terms in the way that we operate, our command structure, the way that we deploy," said Sullivan.

Last year's visit by Pope Francis tested the police department like few events ever have.

Coordinating with numerous local, state and federal agencies to protect the hundreds of thousands that were expected to see the Holy Father.

Police are predicting 50,000 people will visit Philadelphia during the convention. A much smaller crowd, but one that will likely be more vocal and test the police, who Sullivan says are prepared for protests.

"We've taken all the best practices that we've learned and its become part of our standard playbook, and we're consistent with the way that we approach these things," said Sullivan.
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