July 4 festivities bring increased security

| July 1, 2014

July’s approaching, and that means Fourth of July festivities are upon us. Before you know it, you’ll be relaxing at a barbecue, sitting by a pool, and gazing at fireworks. Sure, July 4 is a time to celebrate – but did you know that it’s also one of the most dangerous days of the year?

Last year, the National Safety Council estimated that 540 traffic fatalities and 57,800 “medically consulted injuries” occurred as a result of vehicle collisions during the holiday. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s data on automobile accidents reveals that the holiday is the deadliest day of the year, the New York Times reported.

Law enforcement officials in cities across the U.S. are taking precautionary measures to protect citizens over the July 4 weekend. The Newport Beach Police Department, for example, has staffed its first social media team to search online for clues of reckless behavior over the weekend, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Each of the city’s 141 officers will serve shifts and will be aided by various outside personnel, the Los Angeles Times reported. The social media team will inform them if teenagers and young adults have, say, posted or tweeted about nearby fights or unruly parties.

New York City is not taking chances, preparing weeks in advance for July 4. According to the Staten Island Advance, the NYPD has already arrested 11 people on fireworks-related charges and recently opened its annual fireworks hotline, which individuals may call to report any offenses.

This year, the New York State Assembly and Senate passed a bill that would legalize small fireworks known as sparklers, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo has not signed the bill, having vetoed similar bills twice before, the Syracuse Post-Standard reported.

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Category: security