People who attend the July 3rd Independence Day Celebration in Burlington on Monday can expect increased security.
Law enforcement officials have international terrorist attacks in mind.
Up to 50,000 people watch the July 3rd fireworks from the waterfront. Tens of thousands more watch from other spots nearby.
Police start working on the security detail for the following year right after the show.
“We take an opportunity to look at everything that occurred in the previous event, what worked well, what didn’t work and where we could enhance better security and safety,” said Lt. Jason Lawson with the Burlington Police Department.
Lt. Lawson leads the charge on fireworks logistics and security for the department.
He says Monday will be all hands on deck. Burlington police works with many other agencies, including Vermont State Police, Colchester Police and UVM Police.
Burlington police expanded its security presence this year.
“We have looked at other areas that haven’t typically been secured,” said Lt. Lawson. “We have added some more areas for protection and safety.”
Lt. Lawson says the department keeps a close eye on terrorist attacks across the world to make sure that what happens in those incidents doesn’t happen here.
“One of them – being obviously vehicular attacks,” he said, referring to deadly attacks in cities including Berlin and London. “So we have prepared for that as well, increasing certain locations throughout the city and adding certain security measures.”
Security measures to create a barrier between the public and a potential driver trying to cause injuries.
“Recently with some of our other events, there have been large vehicle placements and certain devices like jersey barriers or large water barriers,” said Lt. Lawson.
“The police department will be potentially checking bags and coolers and those sorts of things so people may see some added security in that manner,” said Gary Rogers, superintendent of recreation at Burlington Parks, Recreation & Waterfront.
Rogers held a site visit Tuesday with law enforcement to go over the security plan.
“It’s become such a great tradition and people really look forward to it and we’re really proud of our city,” said Rogers.
When it comes to parking, both parks and law enforcement officials suggest parking at Patrick Gym at the University of Vermont and taking a shuttle down.
The round trip fare is $1.
Rogers says cars that park at waterfront lots will not be released until 10:30pm.
He says the best view of the fireworks is at the waterfront.
“There’s a barge that we fill the fireworks with and then we do put some fireworks on the breakwater so any of the lower stuff, and sometimes there’s some lower fancy stuff, the best viewing place is boathouse, waterfront, that area,” said Rogers.
For a look at road closures and logistics for the night of the fireworks, visit https://enjoyburlington.com/event/july-third-fireworks/