Big Milwaukee Police presence helped post-fireworks events stay safe
MILWAUKEE - Milwaukee Police have made a dramatic show of force to keep the city safe during the July 4th celebrations.
The department deployed dozens of extra officers to keep tens of thousands of people moving after the fireworks show along the lakefront Tuesday night in downtown Milwaukee.
They wanted to prevent a repeat of mob violence that happened after last year's fireworks.
Far more officers were deployed for the 2012 post-fireworks activity than for 2011.
The plan was to close the BP gas station at the corner of North Humboldt and East North Avenues, a target of rioters in 2011.
Teenagers raided the station after those fireworks, then attacked nearly a dozen people in Reservoir Park.
"We have 60 plus officers and supervisors assigned specifically to this this mission," Police Captain Terrence Gordon told TODAY'S TMJ4's Charles Benson after Tuesday night's fireworks and celebration.
That was 60 more than the normal shift, all to make sure the public stays safe.
"Obviously, we did learn some lessons from last year."
One of those lessons included making sure to keep the crowd moving.
"There's less of an opportunity for them to congregate in groups and get group think going," explained Tim Salmon, who lives in the Riverwest neighborhood.
People in that neighborhood expressed that they feel safer.
"I knew the police would have a strong presence," continued Salmon.
"It was just one of those quirk things."
Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn was among those who patrolled the area during the fireworks show.