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Security Heightened At Esplanade Ahead Of July 4 Celebration In Boston

BOSTON (CBS) -- Boston police are preparing for the city's annual Fourth of July celebration at the Esplanade, and this year security is tighter than ever.

The noticeably heightened security is largely due to last week's warning from the Department of Homeland Security, about the possibility of ISIS-inspired violence over the long holiday weekend.

Crowds are beginning to fill the Esplanade, and these crowds are subjected to searches. They even may be subjected to security wands. Security is high almost everywhere you look.

Boston police officers, state troopers, members of the National Guard, and even FBI agents surround the Hatch Shell, where the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular will take place Saturday night.

"Logistically, this is a monumental task," said State Police Lt. Daniel Richard.  "It's the dry run for the 4th."

Nationwide, law enforcement officials remain on high alert this holiday weekend, as ISIS has called for attacks in the United States. But officials stress there is no specific, credible intelligence.

"There's nothing geared at this particular event, other than it would be an attractive target. But, there are no threats," said Boston Police Commissioner William Evans.

Evans said he's more concerned about violence in his neighborhoods than an attack near the banks of the Charles River.

"People should feel secure coming down. I wouldn't be standing here, telling you, if I was hiding something," he said.

As they have in recent years, bomb-sniffing dogs are investigating every item coming into the Esplanade—including production equipment.

Security will be performing bag checks, but officials also want to reassure the public that they will be well protected.

"We want folks to feel and know that they are safe when they come down here," Richard says.

And law enforcement officials are relying on the public. They are encouraging spectators to call 911 or text a tip to police if they see suspicious activity.

If you're headed to the Esplanade on Saturday, there are some important things to know.

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