Police Prepared for Fourth of July Presence
The Wilmington Police Department has a busy five days ahead of it with the festivities kicking off on Friday night.
The task of monitoring the crowds of people who pack Town Common begins not long after the previous year’s festivities end. Police Lt. Joe Desmond spearheads the public safety efforts throughout the year.
Lt. Brian Pupa said the biggest challenge police face is with the carnival, where residents from out of town pour into the area throughout the five-day Fourth of July celebration.
In addition, the nights of the fireworks are also busy for police officers. Once the final explosive hits the sky, Pupa said there is normally about a 30 minute back up of traffic, so controlling that logjam is the priority that night.
Throughout the week, police maintain a presence on Town Common with a mobile precinct that is parked in front of high school entrance. There is always at least one person assigned to the trailer, so any residents with concerns know how to quickly find police help.
There are also uniformed and plain clothes officers disbursed throughout the crowd to assure resident safety.
“We like to stay ahead of the whole situation so we don’t have many surprises,” said Pupa. “It’s a family event, and we like to maintain that so every family has a good time.”
Town Manager Michael Caira said Fourth of July organizer Scott Garrant and Desmond do a thorough job of meeting with police in advance to be prepared for the year’s activities.
“You get a lot of people in a confined area when the weather is hot,” said Caira. “It takes people on the police force a lot of work and a lot of effort to keep an eye on things to make sure they stay under control. It’s a major undertaking, but in the end it’s a positive experience and one that people enjoy.”