PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Thousands are expected to pack Downtown Pittsburgh on Friday night for all of the Comcast Light Up Night activities, and with the huge crowd also comes plenty of safety concerns.
For that reason, the City of Pittsburgh isn’t taking any chances. Security plans have been in the works for months.
KDKA’s Lynne Hayes-Freeland has a Light Up Night preview —
- RELATED STORY: Guide To Light Up Night 2017
But people KDKA talked to on Thursday night say they aren’t worried, and that local officials always do their best to keep everyone feeling safe.
“My sister is a city police officer, and so, yes, they do the best they can,” one Pittsburgher said.
Local officials say surveillance cameras will be in use. Police officers will be visible and undercover on the ground. Also, the State Police Air Patrol unit will be in the sky.
“As far as police presence, for this type of event, one night event, this will probably be the most police presence we’ve seen in quite some time downtown,” Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich said.
Resources from across the state will be brought in for the big event.
“There is no threat, no credible threat to the event tonight,” Hissrich said. “State police is providing a helicopter, also their providing their mounted patrol from Hershey, county police is also providing their mounted patrol .We’ll have bicycle officers, motorcycle officers.”
School crossing guards are being brought in to help move people from place to place. Like last year, dump trucks filled with sand may be used to protect large crowds gathered in one spot.
Large vehicles will be used as barriers to protect large crowds.
“Pittsburgh is a safe city, never had any issues whatsoever. Good people around here. Everybody is kind,” said Sean Gergacs, of Chesterland, Ohio.
Finishing touches at the Pittsburgh Police Substation downtown were going on Thursday. Bullet proof glass was being installed ahead of the lighting of the city’s numerous Christmas trees.
KDKA’s Lisa Washington —
Outside the station, a blue light has been installed. If you’re in need of help, press it and it will summon police immediately.
“We have replaced 35 cameras downtown, they are now state-of-the-art, high definition cameras. For this event tonight, we’ve added four more. They will be monitored,” Hissrich said.
“You’d never go anywhere if you think about all the places where there have been shootings” said Taitia Shelow, of Canonsburg.
“I think in terms of Pittsburgh, and what Light Up Night means to everyone, I think we will be okay,” added Ranbir Gill, of Pittsburgh.