Police prepared to keep South Haven fireworks show safe

Southwest Michigan

SOUTH HAVEN, Mich. (WOOD) — The South Haven Police Department said officers are prepared for this year’s Light Up the Lake fireworks show.

Around 70,000 to 80,000 people are expected to attend the event Tuesday, according to South Haven Police Department.

The department will once again have several officers patrolling the beaches. Also, there will be more officers patrolling the city this year.

Several agencies will help with patrolling the event, including the Michigan State Police, Covert Township Police Department, Bangor Police Department, Van Buren County, Allegan County, Berrien County sheriff’s offices. South Haven police will also gets help from a private security company.  

“We will have a few more plain-clothed officers that will be around the beach areas and also on the side streets. We found last year that since we weren’t allowing alcohol on the beach a lot of people were going up to cars and some of the side streets. You know you still can’t have open alcohol in any public street,” said South Haven Police Chief Natalie Thompson. 

“We’re going to be checking the side areas around the beaches a little more — just to make sure were not just pushing the problem towards another area.”

The perimeter of North Beach will be blocked off by double fencing. Security checkpoints will be in place as well as officers searching coolers and cups for alcohol all day. 

The enhanced security measures come after fights broke out before the fireworks show in 2016. Violence broke out on North Beach even before the fireworks show started, which forced security to clear the beach. Police say the violence was fueled by alcohol. 

Police said officers will write tickets if they catch someone with alcohol. Arrests will be made, if deemed necessary.

Light Up the Lake is from 10:30 p.m. to 11:15 p.m. on the North and South Pier in South Haven. Viewing areas are Riverfront Park, North Beach and South Beach. A livestream of the fireworks is available online

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