Grand Haven officers ready to curb Fourth of July chaos

Ottawa County

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WOOD) — Officers in Grand Haven are gearing up for one of their busiest days of the year: Independence Day.

The city’s lineup of events include fireworks and a Musical Fountain show.

During the Fourth of July festivities, Grand Haven’s population booms, growing from the 11,000 people who live there year-round to as many as 100,000 revelers.

“We’re from the Lansing area and we come to Grand Haven every year for the Fourth,” said visitor Rachelle Jager.

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“We usually go up on the channel and pack the blanket,” said Brenda Doorn.

“Grand Haven Fourth of July is busy,” said Capt. Clinton Holt with Grand Haven Public Safety. “It’s an all-hands-on-deck event for Grand Haven city, so all of our sworn officers will be out on foot.”

Officers say the influx of people can strain their small department, so they’re working with Michigan State Police, the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office and park rangers

Fights and disorderly visitors have been problems in the past. In 2017, authorities shut down Grand Haven State Park after a large group started fighting on the beach.

To curb the chaos this year, police set up 30 traffic points to keep drivers moving and will be enforcing a no alcohol policy.

“We want everyone to have a safe and pleasant time and enjoy our waterfronts, but that requires some responsibility on the participants,” added Holt.

Police say they’ll be starting their patrols early on Thursday. They say they won’t hesitate to remove people who are unruly.

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