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City Police Cancel Leave, Call In Help To Ensure Safer Fourth Of July

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Meghan McCorkell 370x278 Meghan McCorkell
Meghan McCorkell joined the Eyewitness News team in July 2011 as a...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — We are just hours away from the big Fourth of July celebration at the Inner Harbor and while all eyes will be on the fireworks, police will have extra eyes on the crowds.

Meghan McCorkell has more on the security plan.

Police plan to have triple the number of officers down at the harbor as seen in previous years to keep the crowd safe.

As thousands watch the Fourth of July fireworks downtown, city police, state police, transit police and the sheriff’s office will be out in full force.

“You’ll see cops on foot; you’ll see cops in cars. We have cops on horseback,” said Lt. Col. Darryl DeSousa with the Baltimore City police.

Two years ago, a 26-year-old tourist was killed at the Inner Harbor celebration after he was stabbed with a broken bottle and a four-year-old was hit by a stray bullet.

In recent weeks, the city has seen a spike in shootings. Police are now beefing up security to try and avoid more violence.

“In light of the recent violence we’ve been experiencing, yeah, it’s important to put as many cops out on the streets—not just now but throughout the course of the summer,” DeSousa said.

Bike rack fencing will surround the harbor area for crowd control, with tourists expected to pour in from all over.

For businesses at the Inner Harbor and downtown, the Fourth of July is one of the biggest moneymaking holidays of the summer.

“We have thousands upon thousands of people coming here to see this big celebration of fireworks,” said Kirby Fowler with the Downtown Partnership.

He says business owners are confident in the security plan.

“There’ll be security there. There will be police there, but beyond that, we think it will be just like last year,” Fowler said.

So the only fireworks will be in the night sky.

Police will also be putting undercover officers throughout the crowds to monitor the situation.

City police have suspended leave for the Fourth of July so all officers will be on duty.

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