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  • Last modified 16 days ago (May 9, 2018)

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Peabody Fourth Fest hires security services

Local, county and private representatives address safety concerns

Staff writer

Safety concerns surrounding the future of Peabody Fourth Fest were addressed and solutions were determined May 1 at a meeting held in the Peabody Fire Station.

The concerns were originally voiced on behalf of Peabody Fourth Fest committee members at a March 26 city council meeting, after mayor Larry Larsen said members expressed trepidation over liability that would fall on their shoulders if a shooting event like those in other parts of the country were to take place.

At that time, the committee had requested 10 armed law enforcement officers plus police chief Bruce Burke for the fireworks show, saying they would cancel the event without the extra security.

Despite Burke’s efforts of reaching out to agencies over the surrounding area, he was unable to get the shifts covered.

As a result, the committee has since hired security services out of Wichita.

“We hired Raven Threat Management,” said Fourth Fest committee member Lisa Hodges. “They are sending 11 guys the day of the fourth to help cover gates and protect the crowd.”

The group of local, county, and private representatives also collaborated on a new no parking rule in place that would prevent parking along the east side of Peabody St. that stretches from 60th Rd. to 9th St.

Hodges said other changes to the annual event include closing the front entrance gate to all vehicle traffic after 4 p.m. All handicap vehicles, volunteers not on foot, and vendors bringing in supplies can enter through the gate located on the west side of the park off Peabody St.

Hodges explained that instead of volunteers shooting off fireworks by hand as they have in the past, employees of the company the committee purchases fireworks from will set them off electronically.

The winner of the 2018 4th of July button design contest was Janet Post. Buttons are $3 in advance and at the gate with children three and under free. Buttons will go on sale at local businesses in June.

Last modified May 9, 2018

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