Hundreds of CMPD Officers Will Be Out for 4th of July

By TONY BURBECK / NewsChannel 36 – June 29, 2011

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Expect hundreds of police officers and volunteers in uptown Monday for 4th of July security.

Police expect more than 100,000 people.

What city leaders don’t want is a repeat of what happened Memorial Day when thousands milled around, crowded streets and sidewalks and some got in trouble.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Rodney Monroe said “it’s just a place to be,” about why so many young people come uptown on holidays.

Most just hang out.

Some cause trouble and get into fights and others violate curfew.

“It only takes one that may go out to seek to do something that’s not appropriate,” Monroe said.

Wednesday, city leaders outlined their 4th of July security plan, hoping to avoid a repeat of past holidays.

The plan includes hundreds of police officers, although Monroe won’t say how many.
Focus areas will be the Transit Center. If you’re not riding, you’re leaving.

Another focus area will be the route from fireworks at Memorial Stadium to uptown.

The square at Trade and Tryon will be police-heavy. College Street with its bars and restaurants is a focus area too.

“It will be all about keeping vehicle traffic moving and pedestrian traffic moving,” Monroe said.

Monroe said if people don’t comply it is possible they will be charged with loitering.
“We’re not looking to arrest our way through this. We’re looking to manage the crowd,” Monroe said.

Video cameras like the one that caught the Memorial Day melee will be used as well.

Police will also monitor the crowd in sky towers. Troublemakers will be removed from the crowd.

“This weekend we have an enormous opportunity to show we can do this in a safe and fun way,” said Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx.

If it doesn’t work, it will remain a reason why some families say they won’t come uptown on holidays.

The Charlotte Area Transit System will have extra buses operating Monday and more frequent light rail trips to handle the crowds.

Restaurants at the Transit Center will close at nine to keep people from loitering.

A newly-formed group called “Men Who Care Global” is hoping to have 500 volunteers out here in orange T-shirts, simply providing a presence, giving an example of how to act in a crowd and offering young men information about school and careers.

Published in: on June 29, 2011 at 9:25 pm  Leave a Comment  

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