PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — New steps are being taken to tighten security for Pittsburgh’s annual Light Up Night celebration.

Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McLay has only been on the job about two months, but he’s been preparing for the city’s holiday kickoff party.

Chief McLay said, “200,000 people that you stack up on this narrow band between two rivers. And I’m told, ‘Chief, every year it stretches our resources right to the limit.’”

With that, the police chief is preparing for his first Light Up Night this Friday. It’s a night that stretches into two nights.

For the most part, it’s great family fun that starts off the holiday shopping season and brings thousands to Downtown Pittsburgh.

But the new chief is worried about recent neighborhood shootings, and hopes they don’t spread into downtown.

Chief McLay says, “’They recognize each other from the neighborhood and they’ve got feuds, so they start fighting with each other. So that really challenges our ability to keep the community safe, chief. But don’t worry; everything is going to be just fine.’”

To ensure safety, the new chief is ordering his officers to work 12 hour shifts, so there’s a huge number on duty during his first ever Light Up Night.

“That leaves my entire p.m. shift available as discretionary resources to cover the many, many, many events that are going to be happening on Light Up Night weekend,” said Chief McLay.

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