Police Stepping Up Security At Firework Shows

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Celebrating the Fourth with fireworks can be great, if it's done the right way. This year city shows are stepping up security to make sure everybody stays safe.

"It comes back down to being responsible citizens and understanding that we're here to have a good time and celebrate. There's a way to do it there's a way to legally do it," said Chief Mike Yankowski with the Lansing Police Department.

One of the biggest problems police have been dealing with is people trying to bring their own fireworks to city shows. So Lansing Police will be on patrol at Riverfront park on Friday with security checking bags.

"We'll have close to 100 police officers working in and around Riverfront park on the Fourth of July so it's a safe fun environment for all those involved," Yankowski added.

People who go to the shows say they're happy police will have a bigger presence.

"People are dangerous with setting off their fireworks and endangering others so that's an issue," said David Earhart, who normally goes to the Sharp Park show in Delta Township.

The Eaton County Sheriff's department is trying to keep people at the Sharp Park fireworks safe by requiring parking passes and doing visual inspections. They say it's all part of cutting down on disorderly behavior inside the park.

"So they're in the parking lot and the parks and various areas shooting off things in crowds where it's just not safe to do that," said Lt. Jeff Campbell with the Eaton County Sheriff's Office. "It has been one of our most serious and consistent problems in the past."

In past years police had trouble with too many people coming in early to tailgate before the show. The park will now be open to cars with passes as of 5:00 pm. Police say these new security measures are preventative steps

"We're trying to get ahead of that so we don't have anything serious," Campbell said, referring to past fights and illegal fireworks use. "Some of those things could have been a lot more serious than they turned out to be."

"Fireworks are a great part of celebrating the Fourth of July festivities and we want people to enjoy the Fourth of July holiday," Yankowski added.

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