Police Step Up Patrols at National Cherry Festival
Making sure the National Cherry Festival is safe is no easy task.
"Every year we learn something new and try to keep up with the times.”
Sergeant Keith Gillis with the Traverse City Police Department says they have all hands on deck at the National Cherry Festival this year.
"We have four road patrol officers that are handling calls in the city and then we'll try to have two officers assigned to each section of the festival,” said Sergeant Gillis. "We will also have two motorcycles assigned to the downtown area and we'll have two officers on foot in the downtown area."
They're focused on patrolling West End Beach this year.
The number of minor in possession tickets issued last weekend tripled this year.
The number of assaults went down.
"Officer’s presence is definitely a deterrent of that, but I think the alcohol serving establishments are a lot more educated on when to cut someone off,” said Sergeant Gillis.
Sergeant Gillis says the assistance from other agencies is a big help.
"The Michigan State Police have had two troopers down there every night and we also have implemented a plain clothes detail,” said Sergeant Gillis. “We are able to contact marine deputies if we need to get out onto the boats.”
"To have it be a peaceful night for people to enjoy the fireworks or the carnival or the cherry festival in general,” said Sergeant Gillis.