USA Today: This is how police will be keeping you safe on July 4th


USA TODAY Published 5:32 p.m. ET July 2, 2017 | Updated 7:37 a.m. ET July 3, 2017
Mark Nichols @nicholsmarkc

Police plan to use several time-tested tools and strategies — and a few new ones — to keep revelers safe this year at some of the nation’s largest July Fourth celebrations.

While authorities insist there have been no specific threats, security has become a pressing concern in U.S. cities this holiday weekend after recent terror attacks overseas on so-called “soft targets” — events and facilities where large numbers of people gather.

In Boston, police will be deploying a tethered drone for the first time to catch aerial views of the crowd and activities during the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular, which could attract 500,000 people along the Charles River.

Tethered drones — unmanned flying objects with lines attached to an object — allow authorities to receive and broadcast events on the ground. Since they control the aircraft’s movement, they reduce the chance for pilot error or crashes.

Boston police used the drone earlier this year at the Boston Marathon and at last month’s Sail Boston.

The Massachusetts State Police Marine Unit and Air Wing also will be patrolling the Charles River during the event, along with plainclothes troopers, local police, trained dogs and federal bomb detection teams on the ground.

Heavy trucks and equipment will be used to block key city streets in and around the event area.

And while local police patrols will be prominent at the fireworks show, city officials plan an even heavier police presence in Boston neighborhoods during the July Fourth holiday period — traditionally one of the city’s most violent weekends…

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