BOSTON -- Safety was top of mind for people who were gathering at the Esplanade for Boston's July 4th celebration. Massachusetts State Police said they had a far-reaching security plan in place and were prepared for any type of emergency.
Spectators went through metal detectors and their handbags were checked by security at the entrance.
"It's actually a relief to see the heightened security," said a South Boston mother who brought her two daughters. She said this year's security procedures put their minds at ease.
"It feels safer that they did it. I don't mind at all if it's a hassle. I feel even better, especially because the crowds are going to be so big," said another attendee. "I feel much better having it here."
Plenty of State Police troopers, military members, and EMS were visible walking around the Esplanade. State Police also had boats in the water of the Charles River and helicopters watching from above.
"You see Air 2 is above us providing aerial oversight so that allows us to track the crowds, traffic, provides us with oversight for the venue. It provides streaming video back to the unified command center," said Mass. State Police Colonel Christopher Mason.
A shooting at a Chicago-suburb July 4th parade. State Police said they are monitoring the situation but don't need to change security plans because they have been preparing for the event for months and have taken threats like this into consideration.
After a three-year hiatus for the Boston Pops, people seemed excited to be amongst others celebrating Independence Day safely.
"Very happy to see all the extra precautions being taken, makes it all feel a little bit secure being in such a large gathering," a woman said.
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