Police: Safe 4th is aim of increased downtown patrols
Bombs bursting in air downtown - a July 4th tradition.
"The fireworks," shouts a group of kids. "They're pretty when they go up to the air there, really bright."
For Patty and her grandkids, the fourth fun began before sunset, as they staked a out prime viewing location.
And police are patrolling it all, on bikes, in parked cruisers, with foot patrols along the canal, and with anti-gang undercover officers you don't see. It's an effort to prevent what happened last year on this holiday: a 16-year-old was killed downtown when groups of young people crowded sidewalks and sparks flew.
And even before today, police were monitoring intelligence sources, even social media, for any signs of trouble in advance.
"Typically at major events, there is only a small group of people that actually start most of the issues," says metro police Lt. Christopher Bailey.
The security contingent includes IMPD, sheriffs deputies, state troopers and Capitol Police officers along with park rangers.
"Usually there is only one individual in that group acting out," Bailey said. "If there's an opportunity, we pull that one aside and have a chat with them."
"There needs to be a parent, an adult person available to the children," said one mother.
"Parents start supervising their kids and start doing things with their kids to keep them out of trouble," says grandmother Patty Klinglesmith.