Sheriff's Dept., MPD step up fireworks patrols after last July 3rd

MILWAUKEE -- Last year, there was some trouble after the U.S. Bank fireworks display along Milwaukee's lakefront. This year, police and sheriff's officials ramped up their efforts to ensure safety before, during and after the fireworks show.

About 70 Milwaukee County Sheriff's deputies were set to patrol Milwaukee's lakefront during Tuesday evening's activities.

With the extremely dry conditions and heat indices in the triple digits, officials say they'll be enforcing the "no personal fireworks" rule.

Ruth Weill with Milwaukee's Riverwest Neighborhood Association said she believes this July 3rd won't be like last year -- when a mob of people seen in surveillance video looted a convenience store near Humboldt and North Avenue. Moments, later at Reservoir Park, several people were attacked.

Weill said last year's incident likely won't keep people from enjoying this year's fireworks display.

Milwaukee police officers were set to patrol the crowds as well. Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn held Tuesday's roll call along North Avenue. The department will have a command center set up there as well.

"We put this plan in place and tested it out on June 27th -- the opening night of Summerfest. It was very smooth and we're hoping for a repeat of June 27th," MPD Captain Terrence Gordon said.

Milwaukee Sheriff's Captain Daniel Hughes said usually the biggest problem at Veterans Park during the fireworks is lost children.

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