Policing the beach on the Fourth of July

by: Leslie Coursey Updated:


JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. - Policing the beach is no easy feat on the Fourth of July. 

Action News rode along with the Jacksonville Beach Police Department as they patrolled the Fourth of July party. Tens of thousands of people are expected to be there throughout the day.  

"When you have that many people in one area, you have to make sure they stay safe," said Jacksonville Beach Police Department Cmdr. Mark Evans. 

He said officers have to deal with intoxicated people and people riding around with open containers of alcohol. 

However, it's possible "people aren't aware that we do have an ordinance that prohibits the consumption of alcohol in public, on public streets," Evans said. 

Evans also said illegal fireworks keep officers on their toes. 

"If (a) firework goes off in a crowd, around children or people standing there, it can be very dangerous," he said. 

Officers will be on duty all night. The fireworks show starts at 9 p.m.