Lots of Security In Place For Big July 4th Weekend Events - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

Lots of Security In Place For Big July 4th Weekend Events

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PHILADELPHIA -

The stage is set for Philadelphia's big 4th of July Jam on the Parkway where police say as many as 600,000 people could gather Thursday night.

VIP seating is in place, so are the barricades to control crowds up and down the Ben Franklin Parkway. Medic units and Porta Potties are ready to go. Even trash cans are locked down.

"First and foremost, come out and enjoy the Fourth of July, Wawa Welcome America, tons of fun," Mayor Michael Nutter told Fox 29. "In terms of security, we're obviously always on the alert for any big events."

But when the hundreds of thousands of spectators show up for the big celebration and fireworks near the Art Museum, lots of security will be in place as well. Ever since the Boston Marathon bombings,  security has been ramped up a notch whenever big crowds gather. This weekend will be no exception.

"We're gonna have some pretty strong police presence out there," Commissioner Charles Ramsey told Fox 29

"As we always say, if you see something, say something. If you see something that's unusual contact 911 or tap a police officer on the shoulder," the mayor added.

Tight security will also be in place on Independence Mall this Fourth of July as tourists come to visit the city's historic landmarks. Visitors from out of town say they're not bothered by extra security measures.

"Security is obviously important, but I'm really glad we don't let it stop our celebration," said Ann Gaffney, in town for the first time from New Hampshire.

"Everybody's thinking about security," said tourist Matt Norris. "Making it safe so we can all come out and enjoy this."

Commissioner Ramsey says the big attractions won't be the only places you'll see a big police presence. He says officers will also be keeping a close eye on local neighborhoods.

"This is a day we have a lot of neighborhood celebrations, so we have to be able to cover a lot of things," he explained.

Ramsey says Philadelphians and visitors will also see something new this weekend. DUI checkpoints placed strategically around the city. He urged anyone who drinks to take a cab, use SEPTA or use a designated driver.

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