Tri-Cities Law Enforcement Prepares for 4th of July Celebrations - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Tri-Cities Law Enforcement Prepares for 4th of July Celebrations Safety

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KENNEWICK, Wash.-- Local law enforcement agencies met Wednesday to prepare for the River of Fire 4th of July celebrations at Columbia Park in Kennewick.

Every year thousands of people enjoy the Tri-Cities 4th of July festivities.

And law enforcement is getting ready now to make sure everyone stays safe at the Columbia Park River of Fire event.

Wednesday officers from Kennewick and Richland police, Benton County Sheriff's Office, Coast Guard and other agencies came together to talk about their safety plans.

Officers talked about patrolling the park on bikes and ATVs, monitoring traffic and making sure no one has alcohol or fireworks.

Modified fireworks are considered a bomb threat and police will be looking for them.

Officers say now is the time to make safety plans, not when an incident happens.

"There's that potential for problems. We're talking about a barge full of explosives. We're talking about a large crowd of people, in the thousands on both sides of the river. It's now dark. So we have all kinds of issues we end up dealing with," said Sgt. Ken Lattin, Kennewick Police Department.

Lattin says one of their biggest issues every year is lost children.

Police urge parents to watch their children to keep them safe in the crowds.

Lattin says officers will start patrolling the park at noon on the 4th and stay late into the night.

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