Neptune Beach increasing security for Fourth of July

by: Romney Smith Updated:

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NEPTUNE BEACH, Fla. —

Neptune Beach is beefing up security for Fourth of July. Last year police had their hands full, with drinking games on city property to a massive water slide on a city sidewalk. 

To top it off a deck collapsed, sending four people to the hospital. Witnesses said there were 30 people on it at the time.

Neptune Beach police tell Action News they will be issuing a lot of tickets for people who are drinking in the street or on public sidewalks, so you’re only safe if you’re on private property.

After numerous displays of public drunkenness during Fourth of July 2013, the Neptune Beach Police department and Mayor Harriet Pruette say this year they’re cracking down.

"When people are out right down drunk, falling off their bicycles, and not moving when the police ask them to move and things like that. I think they're going to find themselves with a ticket this year," said Pruette.

Neptune Beach Police Assistant Chief Tony Carrillo said they will have more than a dozen extra patrols from the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

"The main thing here, we're going to keep the sidewalks to where people can walk up and down. The roadways, we're going to have those cleared where the bicyclist can move and keep them moving," said Carrillo.

Tracy Kimbell lives in Neptune Beach and said she likes the plan.

"I think it’s great, hopefully it will prevent some things. A lot of the locals don't come down to this area because of that," said Kimbell.

Extra patrols will allow police to clear crowds quicker in case they run into an emergency, like last year’s collapsed deck. The mayor says she understands their Independence Day crowds will continue to grow and encourages it.

"We want people to come and enjoy themselves, but we certainly want them to obey the laws, and be responsible and be safe," said Pruette.

Police also sid you can be ticketed if you throw a water balloon.