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Heavy security expected in LIC for July 4th fireworks

The commanding officer of the 108th Precinct is promising heavy security as the 4th of July fireworks return to Long Island City.
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For the second year in a row, Long Island City is the place to be for the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks, and NBC will base its national telecast at Hunters Point South Park. More than 52,000 shells will be fired from four barges centered off Midtown Manhattan, right across from the park.

“With the fireworks lighting up the East River for the third year in a row, millions of New Yorkers will again be able to take part in Macy’s electrifying July 4th display,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said. “The fireworks will ignite the sky—and the local economy—from Queens to Brooklyn to Manhattan.”

While Hunters Point South Park will be closed to the public, Gantry Plaza State Park will be teeming with visitors.

“Residents can once again enjoy our neighborhood’s prominent role in the national celebration,” state Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) said. “I am pleased our efforts resulted in the Queens waterfront being a participant in the grandest Independence Day celebration in the United States.”

Once again, the event will pose a major security challenge for the 108th Precinct. Its commanding officer, Capt. John Travaglia, said his goal is to not inconvenience Long Island City residents but ensure safety in the community.

“Last year was a true success due to the patience and cooperation of the community in all stages of the planning and preparation of the event,” Travaglia said. “Expect to see all NYPD resources deployed at the event, including Emergency Service, K-9, Mounted, Harbor, Highway Patrol, Community Affairs and Counter Terrorism Units.”

There will be no parking between 44th Drive and 54th Avenue for security reasons from 10 p.m. July 3 until 12:01 a.m. July 5. Cars will be towed to a legal parking spot east of 11th Street.

Travaglia is asking residents to have guests arrive in the neighborhood before 3 p.m., carrying invitations with the address and contact phone number of the host so officers can verify their destination. He is also urging businesses who intend to stay open July 4 to use a ticket or reservation system for the day, providing patrons with a ticket or reservation with the name and phone number of the establishment.

With Hunters Point South Park closed to the public, the New York State Police will monitor the crowd at Gantry Plaza State Park and when maximum occupancy occurs, the piers will be closed.

“Being center stage for this event is a huge honor for our community,” Travaglia said. “Due to our success and the hospitality we provided last year, Macy’s has chosen us again. But with this honor comes monstrous responsibility and concerns. Safety and security are paramount. I cannot thank the community enough for their past cooperation and obviously need it again to get this job done. We cannot do it without you.”

The captain warned that anyone in possession of a drone or similar flying device will be turned away and anyone operating a device of that nature at the event will be charged with the appropriate statute resulting in a summons or arrest.

Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparry@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4538.

Posted 12:00 am, June 9, 2016
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