City ramps up security for Silver Bells

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"Everyone who shows up for silver bells, their job is to enjoy the parade," smiles Mike Tobin, Lansing's Emergency Management Division's chief, "our job is to make sure they stay safe.

It's a tough task, protecting around 100,000 people at one time, but Lansing's Emergency Management Division is prepared.

"We start evaluating the security process and the safety plans actually a year out," Tobin explains. "When last year's ended, obviously with the rain, we looked at our plans, see what adjustments need to be made, if there was new equipment that we needed, if any new systems need to be put in place, and we build on that through the year."

They also learn from events around the world, and prepare accordingly. That's why they've put up strong barriers to close off roads.

They also made sure to have cameras to see everything happening during the celebration.

"It just gives us those additional eyes in the field and that they are elevated eyes," Tobin says.

That's more than 40 cameras that will see everything. But nothing beats the eyes in the crowd... that's what authorities need most:

"Those extra set of eyes and ears, no matter where you go in today's day and age, no matter what event you're attending, you know you've gotta be aware of your surroundings and then to work with law enforcement on that," says Lansing Police Department Chief Mike Yankowski.

On the other side of the coin, police are also launching an alert system for this year's silver bells.

"If something happens, whether that be a weather event, issues with traffic, or another emergency develops, we can send messages from the command post here directly to people that are attending Silver Bells," Tobin says.

As of Friday afternoon, only 300 or so people had opted into those alerts, but Tobin says that means 300 less people to worry about in case of an emergency.