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JPD fully staffed for July 4th

Police say they will be monitoring drunken drivers, illegal fireworks, bar fights

Posted: July 3, 2013 - 4:05pm  |  Updated: July 3, 2013 - 11:14pm

The Juneau Police Department says officers will be out in force during Fourth of July festivities, which begin Wednesday night with the fireworks display.

Lt. David Campbell, a spokesman for the department, said police will be on the lookout for drunken drivers, as well as helping with crowd control and maintaining public order. Usually, there are more than a few bar fights that break out, he said in an interview at the police station.

“It’s kind of like bar break on steroids,” he said, referring to the time of night when bars close downtown.

Campbell attributes that to the combination of alcohol and the high density of people. He said he hopes the police presence will deter such behavior.

Police will also be looking out for illegal fireworks usage, he said.

July 3 and 4 are the department’s two busiest days of the year. Every one of JPD’s 50 sworn officers — from the new police chief to the newest patrol officer rookie — is required to work either on July 3 or 4, Campbell said. Some officers will work both days.

Campbell said this year, 18 officers will be on duty the night of July 3, and a total of 35 law enforcement members will be working on July 4. (Of the 35, 28 are patrol officers, three are Community Service Officers and four are Juneau Citizen’s Patrol members.)

Other officers will be participating in the festivities itself, such as the July 4 parade, alongside other law enforcement agencies.

Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at emily.miller@juneauempire.com.

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