Created: July 03, 2020 05:48 PM
(WHEC) — No fireworks, and no parades. This Fourth of July holiday is going to be a lot different. Local towns and cities have been forced to cancel celebrations because of the coronavirus pandemic. That includes the big fireworks show over Downtown Rochester.
At least one thing remains the same. Rochester Police are still beefing up patrols at both Ontario Beach Park and Durand Eastman Beach this holiday weekend. News10NBC talked to Police, who are trying to prevent the kind of violence we saw on Memorial Day Weekend.
Captain Nate Cornell says the department has come up with new crowd control strategies from lessons they learned.
"We found during those fights that, you know we had it contained fairly quickly, but it would've been great to have resources up here sooner, and to be able to get people out sooner that were trying to leave," Cornell said.
Besides extra officers, Cornell says one of the resources includes community organizations.
"There's going to be some members of pathways to peace up here," Cornell said. "They work through the city. You know they really do a good job of talking to the people out here and trying to mediate any disputes, and reach out to the youth."
Part of the crowd control plan includes traffic in, and out of the beach area.
"Just limiting that access up here to the beach at a certain point by closing off Lake Avenue I think that's going to be a huge difference, and help us control any disruptive behavior we see," Cornell said.
Instead of enforcement of social distancing rules, Cornell tells News10NBC officers will just educate those not practicing safety guidelines. Rochester City Councilman Jose Peo says the increase in police presence this weekend is nothing to be afraid of.
"This is something as a preventative measure only," Peo said. "We want to stop the fighting. We want to stop the unruly behavior. We want our businesses to be open. We want you to come to the beach, have fun. Spend some money buying food, some drinks and then go home safely."
Rochester Police say they will keep their mobile command unit at Ontario Beach Park until Monday morning.
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