Fayetteville to employ eye in sky to protect Dogwood Festival visitors
Posted April 24, 2014
Updated April 25, 2014
Fayetteville, N.C. — The annual Fayetteville Dogwood Festival will get a new twist on crowd control this year when police will use newly installed surveillance cameras – three of them in Festival Park – to keep an eye on visitors.
Police Chief Harold Medlock called the eye in the sky a "force multiplier" for the event, which runs from Friday evening through Sunday afternoon.
"We believe it gives us a great perspective of Festival Park, of Hay Street and some of the other areas in the downtown area," he said.
Officers will have an eye on the cameras in addition to the usual police presence at the Dogwood Festival to ensure that visitors have a worry-free weekend.
Carrie King, festival executive director, and her staff were on site Thursday setting up tents, lining up chairs and adding the finishing touches that turn Festival Park into a dogwood destination.
Organizers set up the festival infrastructure on Thursday and will welcome vendors Friday all in time for the "Bloom & Boom" party, which begins at 6 p.m.
"We're going to be ready to have a good time," King said.
Friday evening ends with a performance by the Marshall Tucker Band and a fireworks display. On Saturday, country music star John Michael Montgomery is the headliner. Throughout the weekend, crafts, games, rides and musical performances lure visitors to the free event.
For King, safety is never a concern.
"They know what they are doing and they have got this handled," she said of the Fayetteville Police Department. "At any given time there are 40 police officers, all in radio contact of one another, and they have extreme measures that they go through to insure our safety."