Extra Security for this Year’s July 4th Parade in Bristol

by ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis


BRISTOL, R.I. – It will look much like Bristol parades of the past, but there will be differences, on the streets and behind the scenes.

More police officers in uniform – and in plain clothes – will be on hand.

Tara Primis, now lives in Washington, DC, but brings her kids back to her native Bristol for the parade:

“I have no problems with it, no. I wouldn't be surprised to see extra police, but I think that would probably make us feel better,” said Primis.

Police will not ban big purses or coolers, but reserve the right to search anything if they feel it is suspicious.

ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis said, “Here along the parade route in downtown Bristol, it is like many ‘main streets' across America. Lots of shopkeepers and homeowners now have security cameras. So – chances are – if someone does something illegal or inappropriate, it will be caught on camera.”

Police have asked members of the Bristol Merchants Association to make their video available to law enforcement if needed.

While there have been no specific threats made against Bristol, all this is a precaution.

For over seven decades, Owen Trainor has called Bristol home.

 “I read where there's additional protection being brought in this year, of law enforcement. I've been coming to the parade for 71 years and I am going to say I feel as secure as I think I am entitled to feel,” said Trainor.

Other towns folk tell us they are not worried, and hope the usual tens of thousands come to Bristol for a good time.

In addition to Bristol Police, there will be extra officers and agents from other local departments, the Rhode Island State Police and the FBI. Police in Bristol were not available for comment on this story, but ABC6 News learned the information from other sources.