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Baltimore Police Stepping Up Deployment On Fourth Of July Weekend, Commissioner Says

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- The last time Baltimore saw a Fourth of July fireworks celebration was in 2019. After a two-year hiatus, the show is coming bacK.

The Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts (BOPA) said in previous years, as many as 7,000 people have enjoyed fireworks along the city's main tourist attraction - the Inner Harbor.

Activities downtown will start in the morning on Independence Day and then end with the fireworks. Boat tour operators say they are also seeing an increase in demand.

"We're almost sold out both of our boats that we have going out. So yeah, it should be a good year after the break and fireworks," said Ron McMahan of Watermark Tours.

With thousands of people expected at the Inner Harbor, Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said the department is on high alert.

On Memorial Day weekend, a teenager was shot and killed near the Inner Harbor and brazen crimes have been happening with police in close proximity.

The police commissioner said there will be an "enhanced deployment strategy" across the city.

"We have a robust deployment strategy in downtown every night this weekend through the Fourth of July and we have a robust deployment strategy everywhere across the city - looking for people igniting fireworks - shooting guns in the air and we will be taking swift and strong action when we find those people doing that," said Commissioner Michael Harrison.

City leaders are also reminding members of the public that fireworks are illegal in the city of Baltimore. Officials stress the potential dangers of using fireworks like serious injury or possible death. For that very reason, people are being urged to watch a professional show instead.

According to details from BOPA's website, the Baltimore Orioles, the American Visionary Arts Museum and the National Aquarium in Baltimore will be participating in the festivities which will run from 4:00-10:00 p.m. Click here for a full schedule.

WJZ is the media partner for this year's activities.

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