COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Central Ohio is in the final stages of getting ready for Red, White & BOOM! People were out Thursday night securing their spots for Friday’s fireworks show. Getting a spot the night before is a tradition for Dorreetha Irby.
“Oh yes, you have to get here early,” she said. “I can’t wait. This is an annual event I start my vacation with and we do it up right.”
While families have been getting ready for the festivities, so have the Columbus Division of Police. This year, police are using portable surveillance cameras, which have been placed around downtown.
NBC4 has seen them set up at Bicentennial Park, the intersection of High St. and Long St. by City Hall, and near Nationwide Arena.
“We expended the money on these things in parks. We have a lot of people down here in Columbus in the downtown area around here, let’s use the resources to the best we can,” said Columbus Police Commander Robert Strausbaugh.
Strausbaugh says the cameras can be accessed remotely by police. They will be used by police and fire to monitor Red, White & BOOM!
Columbus City Council approved funding for 25 of them in May to increase security at parks. The cameras just arrived this week with some already out at parks. The ones being used for Red, White & BOOM! will be moved back to parks on Saturday, according to Strausbaugh.
“That’s the beauty, it’s just like policing, you move the resources where you need them to actually make the best for the operation. This is our largest event in Columbus, we have the technology, let’s use it,” he said.
Irby says she’s glad to see the cameras out.
“I was a little weary, the stuff that’s going on, but I have faith in Columbus and the police officers. And now that I know we have cameras I feel even safer,” she said.
The city is renting the 25 cameras for six months. Strausbaugh says each one costs $1,295 a month. That’s a total of about $194,000.