Police begin preparation for Thursday fireworks

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 3, 2002

The July 4 holiday promises to be a busy day for Selma Police, said Lt. David Evans, head of the traffic division.

Evans said police will be monitoring traffic closely around

Memorial Stadium, where a celebration featuring fireworks, as well as other festivities honoring America’s Independence, will be held. The stadium opens it doors at 6 p.m., and the program is expected to begin at 7:45 p.m.

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Since the turnout is expected to be higher than in previous years, Evans encouraged those who come to the stadium to come as early as possible.

“Don’t wait until the last minute,” said Evans. “Make sure you come as early as you possibly can, at least an hour or two hours ahead of time.”

Evans said that during the festivities, beginning at 8:30 p.m., that Marina Drive and Rowell Drive would be closed off. He added that spectators would also be asked to leave the Valley Creek area, beginning at 6 p.m.

“The idea here is to make sure that spectators are not in the vicinity of where fireworks are being launched,” Evans said.

Evans asked that spectators bringing R. V.’s, park their vehicles as close as possible to the east side of the field located at Valley Creek Park.

“The reason for doing this,” said Evans,

“is to make sure that we clear the field enough so we have enough space where [police vehicles] as well as other types of vehicles can move around in.”

Evans added that throughout this week, traffic division officers would be working overtime,

patrolling Selma’s streets, targeting drivers, who are driving under the influence.

“We are hoping to catch as many D. U. I.’s

as we possibly can,” Evans said. “It seems every year around this time we get more than usual.”

The police department, he noted, received a $7,700 grant, through the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, a portion of which he said would be used to pay officers for extra time spent on the job.

“I guess we can refer to it as a D. U. I. grant,” Evans said jokingly.

Besides showing up early for the event, Evans asked that all residents follow two important rules, while in the city limits.

The first, he said, is that it is illegal to possess fireworks in the City of Selma, unless one receives special authorization. The other, he said, is that it is illegal to drink alcoholic beverages on public or city property.

Said Evans, “Drinking and driving leads to so many fatalities every year. We just ask that all citizens act responsibly and please don’t drink and drive.”