BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Fourth of July celebrations are expected to draw large crowds at Canalside.
“The fireworks, seeing all the people around the community come together,” said Danielle Casucci of Buffalo.
As Canalside becomes more popular, safety measures are being stepped up.
Officials hope to reduce potential incidents with a new a temporary police substation and an increased police presence from 6 am to 1:30 am.
“It’s’s a coordinated effort not only with the Buffalo Police Department and private security but with all levels of police. We’ve had a strategy put in place that involves the Sheriff’s Department, the Coast Guard, State Police,” said Sam Hoyt, Empire State Development Regional President.
Some visitors say the increased police presence gives them a peace of mind as they look forward to enjoying fireworks at Canalside on the 4th.
“Makes more people want to come out and enjoy what’s going on, what the community has to offer at Canalside in a safe environment especially with the kids,” said Casucci.
“It kinds of scares off all the people who want to do gun shootings and all that stuff I don’t like the violence,” said Marcheon Harris of Buffalo.
There’s also enhanced security. Once entry opens at 4 pm on the 4th visitors will have to go through security inspection. Several items including all bags, cell phones, keys, and electronic devices need to be placed on security inspection tables. Several items are also banned including weapons, large bags, drugs, and outside food or drinks.
Here’s a list of all of the items prohibited at tonight’s celebration.
“You will also see additional lighting to brighten up some of the dark spots down here and you will see greater coordination of traffic,” said Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown.
“That’s what we need, the more police presence the better,” said Sam Carocci of Buffalo.
The police substation at Canalside is only temporary but officials say they are in the process of developing plans for a permanent one that will include guest services and bathrooms.
A new police substation is also in the works at the Broadway Market. It’s currently in the design phase, it’s expected to be completed in early 2018.
In recent years, a number of safety measures have been added at Canalside to increase public safety. To date:
• Additional Buffalo Police Officers will be stationed at the new Canalside substation to assist Canalside’s private security team in enforcement of rules
• Increased presence of Buffalo Peacemakers, an organization that provides guidance and mentoring to at-risk youth
• Increased lighting to illuminate dark areas
• Better control at site perimeters (e.g., double fencing)
• Enhanced security screening