Phila. police stepping up security for July 4th

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Philadelphia Police say they will be ramping up their patrols and presence during the July 4th festivities.

The Occupy movement and other off-shoot organizations are planning protests at Independence Hall and other areas of the city.

Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey says people shouldn't be alarmed.

He wouldn't provide staffing numbers, but says officers will be working extended shifts.

"We just want to make sure we have protection around the city," Ramsey told Action News. "It's not just about Welcome America and Occupy. We have a lot of neighborhoods that we have to be sure we have adequate coverage and control out there."

Mayor Michael Nutter says the Occupy movement does have a permit to march.

He said the city will respect civil liberties, but not breaking the law.

"I want to remind folks to use common sense," said Nutter. "Don't do anything stupid and naturally stay safe. Here in Philadelphia we've had a lot of contact over the months with the organizers of this particular event and activity and I'm well aware of their convention."

Hundreds of thousands are expected to pack the Ben Franklin Parkway for the July 4th concert featuring the Roots, Queen Latifah and others.

This year police will have a dozen police beacons set up around the concert area. At least two officers will man the locations where people can go for help.

"It serves a lot benefits," said Ramsey. "Plus, people just feel secure when they see a lot blue lights flashing around."

As is their custom, Philadelphia Police wouldn't go into specifics in terms of security and presence. But police brass expect a fun-filled holiday with few problems.

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philadelphia, july fourth, philadelphia police, local/state, chad pradelli
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