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Safety net: CCPD has big role in city events

By Staff | Jul 9, 2019

In a city where there’s always something to do coupled with a skyrocketing population, law enforcement in Cape Coral is proactive when it comes to keeping the public safe when it comes to large events such as Red, White & BOOM!

The Fourth of July holiday brings more than 30,000 people together for a one-of-a-kind firework and holiday celebration in the South Cape, with parties and barbecues happening in every neighborhood from Burnt Store Road to Del Prado Boulevard.

The Cape Coral Police Department says it stays vigilant to ensure road ways are free of impaired drivers, crowds are under control and everyone can enjoy themselves.

“Red, White & BOOM! is a large-scale operation every year, complete with an operational plan, extra officers who man the entire event, Marine units, the SWAT Team, the Mobile Command Vehicle it is planned for well in advance to make sure everything goes safely and smoothly,” said CCPD spokesperson, Cpl. Philip Mullen. “We are here to protect the public always, whether it be large or small scale. We work very closely with the city both in public information prior to the event and in the logistics of the event itself to make sure everything goes according to plan.”

The Red, White & BOOM! brings a large crowd all gathered together, and CCPD said their officers have their eyes peeled for disruptive behavior and public safety.

“They are simply looking for issues,” Mulled said when asked what officers look for during these large-scale events. “(They look for) impaired persons, arguments, safety issues — they are essentially on foot patrol with a large crowd.”

Officers were present across the event from the parking lot to the stage.

Moving residents and attendees in and out of the event smoothly and peacefully is also part of ensuring festivities go off without a hitch.

“In the case of Red White & BOOM!, the event is closed to traffic so drivers, in general, are not an issue. There was a large presence of officers conducting traffic control to and from the parking areas, and there were no issues,” said Mullen.

As for drivers across the Cape throughout the holiday weekend, Mullen said the number of DUI arrests were “no more or less than usual.”

CCPD hosted a multi-jurisdictional DUI checkpoint on Saturday, July 6, from 10:30 p.m. until 4:30 a.m. in the 800 block of Cape Coral Parkway East.

That DUI checkpoint resulted in four arrests, including one young man who was arrested for possession of cocaine and bribery of a law enforcement officer.

Mullen said that from July 4-9, five other DUI arrests had occurred, all but one being over the weekend.

The DUI checkpoint, paired with CCPD’s new “Choose your Ride” cruiser, is a constant reminder for residents that driving impaired in the Cape will not be tolerated.

“Any tool that can be used to either deter people from driving impaired at all, or that nets arrests for those that did make that poor choice, is a positive tool to us,” said Mullen of the DUI checkpoint.

With the Fourth of July comes everyone’s favorite booming light show displays in the form of fireworks.

Fortunately, CCPD said that they did not have any serious injuries over the weekend involving fireworks, though they did received 106 calls “classified as fireworks.”

“Officers know to always be vigilant, regardless of the day or event,” said Mullen. “They know from experience the types of calls that ramp up depending on the holiday — such as fireworks for the Fourth — and are prepared to handle whatever arises.”

-Connect with this reporter on Twitter: @haddad_cj