Guntersville Police get ready for extra patrols over the holiday weekend

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GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. – Starting Friday, hundreds of people will start traveling into Guntersville for the holiday weekend. Guntersville Police and other agencies have been planning for this for months now.

The department will monitor both land and water as residents and visitors enjoy the holiday weekend. With many more expected for the Monday fireworks show, planning takes a lot of coordination. “We usually start about three months before the Fourth of July, so back in April we started our planning meetings to prepare for the crowd that we expect for the weekend,” Chief Jim Peterson said.

The department coordinates with other city agencies and the state. “We have a normal police function like most police departments, and then we have the added responsibility of patrolling the lake,” Chief Peterson explained. “In this area it’s about 69,000 acres, along with the Alabama Marine Police and the Fire Department as well.”

The department will have added officers this weekend, and Monday it’s all hands on deck.

Normal police patrols won’t be hindered, so more officers are brought in to handle the water traffic, the crowds, and road traffic. That traffic is a major concern.

Monday’s traffic will be an influx entirely unusual to the city. “We continually every year try to tweak it or add something, but we have a traffic plan in place,” Peterson explained.

It’s a lot of planning and long hours for officers and other officials who are working their holiday, but it’s necessary to make sure these next few days are safe ones.

The Fire Marshal asks that no one use any projectile or exploding fireworks while they’re at the Guntersville fireworks show on Monday.  The crowds are far too dense for that, and it’s not safe.

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