Additional security for bicentennial celebration as Jacksonville turns 200

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Bold City is gearing up for its bicentennial celebration as Jacksonville turns 200.

But safety remains a concern for many, especially in the wake of recent gun violence across the country.

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The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is reassuring the public that it’s addressing safety concerns.

According to a JSO spokesperson, there will be 100 additional officers in the area for the event as the authorities expect large crowds to head downtown.

JSO also says there’s a slew of items not allowed and people who come will have to go through a checkpoint, adding that all weapons and projectiles are prohibited.

Read: Jacksonville celebrates 200 years

Anybody who comes, along with their belongings, will be subject to a search when entering the bicentennial events this weekend.

Alan Bliss, the CEO of the Jacksonville Historical Society, is hosting the celebration and said the society is hoping for a successful turnout.

“Public safety is first and uppermost in mind of everyone and every participant I hope will be mindful of their citizenship and their role in helping make for a satisfying event something we can look back on with pride and satisfaction,” he said.

Staff spent all of Friday gearing up for what’s to come with barricades, cones and fences being put into place.

Read: ‘It’s opened so many doors’: Jacksonville runner wins gold medal in Special Olympics

Neighbor Latoya White said safety is a concern but wants to see the city do more of these events.

“The uprising of JWJ Park and so far everything has been amazing, from the fest to the Jazz Festival to the concerts downtown. I’m excited for more,” she said.

“Be aware of your surroundings, look out for pedestrians. We’re all here together, we are all family. Just look out for one another.”

Organizers are hoping this is an inclusive and interesting event.

Since it’s expected to be busy, you should seek an alternate route if you have to travel through this area.

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