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Galveston officials request more police, helicopter patrols for 'Go Topless' Jeep weekend 2020

Commissioners extend state disaster declaration to pay for extra help.

BOLIVAR PENINSULA, Texas — Editor's Note: The video above is from incidents during 'Go Topless' weekend in 2019. 

The emergency declaration for Galveston Co. has been extended ahead of this weekend's annual Jeep or 'Go Topless' weekend. 

Galveston Co. commissioners voted unanimously to extend the county's state of disaster for another month because commissioners believed it will help them pay for police support on Bolivar Peninsula to prevent the chaos that ensued during the 2019 celebration.

County Judge Mark Henry has asked for an additional 30 state troopers and the state police helicopter to help control crowds on the peninsula beaches. 

WATCH | Galveston Co. Commissioners Court

In 2019, six people were taken to the hospital by helicopter after a tumultuous 'Go Topless' weekend. Last year's celebration also took place during the MAGA Beach Bash at Crystal Beach. 

Galveston Co. emergency officials say they received over 600 calls to 911 after accidents last year. 

RELATED: Six airlifted, after 'Go Topless' weekend at Crystal Beach, over 400 911 calls in Galveston County

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68 people were arrested, Galveston Co. Sheriff Henry Trochessett told 12News last May. Thirty of the arrests were alcohol-related, with at least 10 being DWI and DUIs.

"We've had several life flights, three people were life-flighted on Friday night," Trochesset told 12News last May. "In last night's head-on collision on Gilchrist, the vehicle was on fire, the driver was extracted, they started CPR and life-flighted her."

He said another person fell out of a truck on the beach and was run over by a rear tire during the weekend. Another fell out of a vehicle on the roadway and was run over. 

"We prepared for the weekend event like it would have been 4th of July and I'm glad we did," Trochesset said. 

An online petition garnered more than 21,000 signatures to end the annual weekend beach fest. The petition organizer called the event "a danger for the people attending and for the residents of Crystal Beach'. 

The petition says 'the blatant irresponsibility and gross negligence of the party goes has pushed this event,' allowing it to become deadly. 

Already in the month of May, there have been big crowds on Galveston beaches despite concerns over coronavirus. County officials even closed the beaches for Easter weekend and Good Friday. 

Earlier this month, a father and his 10 year old son drowned near Crystal Beach. 

RELATED: 'So many broken hearts' | Family of 10-year-old drowning victim speaks out

RELATED: 10-year-old boy celebrated birthday days before drowning near Crystal Beach

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