Celebrate Erie kicks off tomorrow night, drawing thousands of people to the downtown area. In the recent years, the number of incident reports have dwindled, thanks to police and higher security efforts.
Do you ever notice how many cameras are watching over downtown? The number grows each year. That, coupled with a highly coordinated police presence for Celebrate Erie, means not much will go unnoticed.
While you enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of Celebrate Erie, someone will be watching. More than 20 Erie police officers on foot, 16 officers on bicycles, others on motorcycles; all combined with private security officers keeping people safe.
Safety is a high priority in this four day event. Police Chief Don Dacus tells us, “we re-evaluate our security need every year at the end of every event and we are just smarter with our resources and how we deploy them throughout the event”.
While there will be plenty of feet on the ground with the police effort, there will also be several eyes in the sky. City Hall, the Federal Courthouse, Erie Insurance, and businesses along Perry Square, all watching over the area; this weekend and every day.
John Buchna of Erie Downtown Partnership, tells us, “through our program we have well over fifty cameras but when you add those to the existing businesses that have cameras in place you have hundreds of cameras that are here covering for safety and security reasons”.
Dacus echos Buchna’s thoughts. “Those are obviously at our disposal when needed, that coupled with our manpower really should send a message to anybody that anyone thinking of criminal activity will be caught on tape and we are prepared to deal with it.”
The Erie Downtown Partnership covers a large area, so the cameras are not just in the Perry Square area, but up State Street as well.
Everything kicks off tomorrow night with Taste of Erie, and of course, this is the last Celebrate Erie under the direction of Mayor Joe Sinnott.