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What's on Tap

Fayetteville to employ eye in sky to protect Dogwood Festival visitors

Posted April 24, 2014
Updated April 25, 2014

— 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."

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  • dwr1964 Apr 25, 1:31 p.m.

    The average person is recorded more than 10 times per day. The percentage changes in more harsh cities and/or large events. Either way, the people who complain about having their face caught on some type of security camera, are exactly the people who need to be watched the most.

  • T-ONE Apr 25, 12:09 p.m.

    AKA....Drones!

  • puzzled Apr 25, 9:01 a.m.

    I don't like being watched, but since I have nothing to hide and there are definitely those out there who do and would like nothing better than to hurt/kill folks and get away with it. I say go ahead and use the cameras. Hey, they are to help stop wrong doing. Wish we could erase the evil that has crept into our society in droves, but since we can't police have to do what they must. So many don't want the teachings of the Bible taught that they have allowed the teachings of satan to take over. Hey, society sort of asked for all this mess.

  • Obamacare returns again Apr 25, 8:59 a.m.

    Sadly, I think there will be some visitor shooting deaths in the city of homicides.

  • same ole story Apr 25, 8:50 a.m.

    Great to see Obamas spying has the trickle down effect to gathering of people locally. Why not just take DNA samples of everyone attending. Better yet as they walk through the gate make it mandatory that EVERYONE ingest a GPS tracker so each step is monitored and tracked.... PICK UP GEORGE ORWELLS BOOK 1984 just a few years off but right on the money my comrads!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jump1 Apr 24, 9:29 p.m.

    Big brother watching

  • Nope Apr 24, 7:37 p.m.

    BRAAAAAIIIINNNSSS!!!!!!