Security measures in place to keep July 4th celebration safe

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- While there is no direct threat to Philadelphia's July 4th festivities, city officials and police are determined to keep spectators and residents safe, as they do each year.

In two days there will be a sea of people along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, a pop star on a stage in front of the Art Museum and fireworks in the sky up above, and there will also be precise security measures in place.

With large groups of people comes a concern for safety. Monday morning the FBI announced the arrest of a man planning to attack Cleveland on July 4th, and the suspect also had a desire to target Philadelphia.

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Watch the report from Chad Pradelli on Action News at 4 p.m. on July 2, 2018.

We spoke with Jack Thomas Tomarchio, the former principal deputy undersecretary of Homeland Security for intelligence.

"Whenever you have large crowds - a symbolic type of event like Independence Day - you will attract maybe the attention of wrongdoers," Tomarchio said.

In preparation for this year's festivities he says we should expect to see:

"There will be joint terrorism task force people from the FBI. There'll be counterterrorism unit from the Philadelphia Police Department. There may be some folks from the Pennsylvania State Police," he said.

As well as unseen operations.

"There's going to be increased video camera surveillance. There may be, obviously, people who with eyes and ears are mingling in the crowd," said Tomarchio.

There might even be some drones looking over crowd control.

Despite increased awareness and stricter security measures, Tomarchio encourages everyone to attend their favorite gatherings.

Now a days, protection goes far beyond the event day-of. Intelligence officials have been and will continue monitoring social media for any concerning posts and rhetoric concerning this event.


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