Security tightens at Canalside Independence Day celebrations

Posted at 11:51 PM, Jul 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-04 23:51:13-04

"It's literally all the public safety," Matt Lasota, Canalside Manager, said. 

Whether by foot, boat or cart--  "We've had so many meetings to keep people safe."

Event goers could see Buffalo police and fire, and NFTA police out in full force.

"I'm really happy with how things have come together."

The BPD wanted people to come out hours before the first fireworks went up.

Buffalo Police Captain Jeff Rinaldo said, "There will be security screening in place."

Many didn't heed that advice.  Matt Lasota--who runs Canalside--thinks the heat was to blame.  But those that did brave the blazing sun said the security process was quite easy.

"I've definitely never have gone through a metal detector before at Canalside, but it's fine," event goer Chris Greene said.

The metal detectors are fairly new, put in place after the chaos that ensued two Fourth of Julys ago.  That's when police investigated unconfirmed reports of shots fired during the celebrations that sent people running frantically for the exits.  No shell casings were ever recovered.

First timer Eugenao Marlin from Rochester, said he welcomed the security measures put in place.

"Whatever makes it more enjoyable for the people that come here if they have fear about something happenings," Marlin said.

And throughout the evening, hundreds of officer--both on land and on water--patrolled the area to ensure the public's safety.

"We just want people to come down, ya know, it's Fourth of July, and lay on their blankets, and enjoy the fireworks," Lasota said.

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