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Raintree21

4th of July Celebrations

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So I have yet to hear any announcements about the 4th of July celebration here in Charlotte. Has anyone else heard anything? I emailed the Chamber of Commerce asking if they could fill me in. I really hate to think that it might be a repeat of New Years Eve without any fireworks. How can we call ourselves a "world class city" if we don't even have a fireworks show. I know people will say it will be marred by violence again but I don't think so. That was a lesson learned and CMPD has adjusted their policies and tactics as such and I don't believe we will have another problem like that again. To give an excuse like they did before that there's not a suitable place to shoot off the fireworks is an offense to our intelligence.

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Well I do know, though it not being in Charlotte, that Stowe Botanical Garden has theirs as always

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I have heard from Center City Partners that they will be doing 4th of July again this year just like they did last year from the same location, with the family viewing area at Memorial Stadium.

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I have heard from Center City Partners that they will be doing 4th of July again this year just like they did last year from the same location, with the family viewing area at Memorial Stadium.

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I really didn't think that situation worked out so well last year. The streets around the stadium were at an absolute standstill for miles around, especially during the fireworks when people would literally park in the middle of "moving" traffic to get out and watch. And I recall seeing people setting up in the area of the Square, and Tryon in general, because there were unexplained crowd barriers set up there... little did any of those people know that the display would be completely invisible from anywhere near the skyscraper canyon due to multiple visual obstructions.

Personally I think it's shameful that such a significant community event has been derailed by sponsorship issues and the hype over a couple of criminal incidents. The current setup just seems very half-hearted compared to past years.

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The Observer is detailing a little bit about the increased police presence for the July 4th fireworks this year. After attending some of the planning meetings for this, CMPD is going to definitely bust some heads this year if anyone gets out of line. Both platoons of their Civil Emergency Unit (the kinder, gentler, more politically correct way of saying riot squad) will be deployed, along with all of their "Entertainment Disctrict" officers, undercover, gangs, and regular patrol officers will all be there. The Sheriff's Department will be there to assist in arrest processing. It will be nice to see them use their new mobile processing center and put all of that money to work. Also, they are not planning on closing any of the streets downtown this year in order to keep traffic moving as much as possible. The only street that is to be closed is next to Memorial Stadium for the fireworks fallout. I can't remember if it was Elizabeth or 7th Street but it wouldn't make sense for 7th street to be closed since that's a major artery out of downtown.

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^Gee what a way to make people feel welcomed to come into the center city to celebrate the founding of this country. I am not sure that a phalanx of highly armed hit squads that are looking to crack heads on every street corner, makes for a very cheerful atmosphere.

No doubt people will see this and go to the numerous events and firework displays that take place elsewhere in ever increasing numbers.

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The extra officers won't be a pretty sight, but just stay away from center city. We watch from Elizabeth -- no cops around and no trouble from the crowds. The worst place to see the display is the worst place to go anyway -- middle of downtown.

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Rather than criticize CMPD for increasing its presence to ensure people's safety, how about we instead condemn all the lame a-hole thugs who just can't seem to control themselves and feel they always have to riot and shoot each other over the stupidest things? I'd venture to say it's the rioters that take away from a cheerful atmosphere, and more people fear receiving injury from them than the police. If they would decrease their presence at events, the police could do the same.

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Rather than criticize CMPD for increasing its presence to ensure people's safety, how about we instead condemn all the lame a-hole thugs who just can't seem control themselves and feel they always have to riot and shoot each other over the stupidest things? I'd venture to say its the rioters that take away from a cheerful atmosphere, and more people fear receiving injury from them than the police. If they would decrease their presence at events, the police could do the same.

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Rather than criticize CMPD for increasing its presence to ensure people's safety, how about we instead condemn all the lame a-hole thugs who just can't seem control themselves and feel they always have to riot and shoot each other over the stupidest things? I'd venture to say its the rioters that take away from a cheerful atmosphere, and more people fear receiving injury from them than the police. If they would decrease their presence at events, the police could do the same.

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This is a situation where mounted police would really help CMPD keep a strong, intimidating presence without seeming authoritarian. I've seen horses in action in New Orleans and London, and believe me, you do NOT want to be the thug who gets confronted by a mountie. But at the same time, they're the only kind of cop I've ever seen that draws a crowd of happy kids and friendly adults wherever they go.

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2 years ago, me and my gf had fireworks shot towards us on the sidewalk by the gangs. It came inches from a pregnant woman, already with a little one. At that point, I got mad and told them to get the <beep, beep, beep> out of here. That was just wrong and I couldn't believe it at the time that there even wasc these kinds of ppl in the city.

The same thing happened to me and my (now) wife. Fireworks shot off by a couple of a-holes came extremely close to us as well as a woman with a stroller. We haven't been to a fireworks show since and we were extremely upset at the lack of CMPD presence back then. Unless you're doing something you really shouldn't, then what's the big deal about increased CMPD presence at the show?

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This is a situation where mounted police would really help CMPD keep a strong, intimidating presence without seeming authoritarian. I've seen horses in action in New Orleans and London, and believe me, you do NOT want to be the thug who gets confronted by a mountie. But at the same time, they're the only kind of cop I've ever seen that draws a crowd of happy kids and friendly adults wherever they go.

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^ New Orleans is actually a little smaller than Charlotte (and was prior to Katrina), but it has that big dense entertainment district. For mounted police to be cost-efficient, we'd need to see the College/Tryon area expand a bit more. Maybe use them to patrol the parks and inner neighborhoods when events aren't going on.

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Could someone take pictures? I think the skyline highlighted with fireworks would be awesome :D .

Sorry, I live ~2 hrs. away.

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Could someone take pictures? I think the skyline highlighted with fireworks would be awesome :D .

Sorry, I live ~2 hrs. away.

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And mounted police are just plain cool. :)

So we know New York and New Orleans have them, but does anyone one know of similarly sized cities that have mounted police?

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^D.C. has them as well. However, I know horses are spooked easily, would that be a problem when fireworks are going off overhead and echoing through the buildings?

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Austin has some as well, which should be a good comparison point for CLT, the typical 6th st. crowd levels have given them some experience in crowd control.

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The city has already decided this year that it is not going to get horses for police. Part of the problem is there isn't a good place to install a horse livery near the downtown area. Instead they are looking at increasing the bike patrols.

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I still think it's a shame that horse patrols were nixed. I have been to 4th of July Celebrations in Savannah, Charleston, Philadelphia, and other cities and have seen how effective mounted police are. Can't they trailer the horses in just for special events thereby avoiding the cost and logistics of a stable? I happen to like horses but in general a cop horse can be very intimidating bearing down on someone looking to make trouble. The extra heavy police presence may make this year's event seem more hostile and over patrolled but they really have no choice after the riots in the past. We and the city at large debated last year about why Charlotte has continual problems with 4th of July events when larger cities have shows that go off without a hitch. I don't think we are any closer to an answer.

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^ To be fair to the city, the "continual" problems have gone on for only two years running. The local media has hyped these issues WAY beyond proportion, to the point that it's running into danger of attracting trouble to the events rather than discouraging it.

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Although Charlotte is rated 20th in size in the nation by population, you have to remember that Charlotte is also rated number 8 for crime (don't ask me by which, I know thats a general figure used by Alarm System companies here in Charlotte). Number 8 in this size city comparably is crazy, and I didn't realize it was that bad until I heard that figure. Also, I have heard from truck drivers for Family Dollar that one of there worst trips is in Charlotte alone, there have been multiple hold-ups this year alone on deliveries. They say they have safer trips in Atlanta and Baltimore than in Charlotte...

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