Summerville, SC— A big weekend ahead for the Lowcountry. The Bridge Run, Cajun Festival and the Flowertown Festival are all happening at the same time. We wanted to see how planning security for events like these has changed after 9/11. We talked to the Summerville Police Department about what they do gearing up for the Flowertown Festival starting Friday.
Vendors selling art at the festival say they are confident in local law enforcement. “There’s nothing to worry about here,” says Bill Lam. “I feel sorry for the guys who want to come here and hurt anybody. It’d be a bad thing to do.”
Lam’s been a part of this festival for 24 years. He and the vendors around him watch people show up in droves.
“Part of the time you can’t even walk on the side walk.”
“You’re not going to move quickly down the sidewalk.”
They say in years past, law enforcement showed up in large numbers too. Jon Rogers with the Summerville Police Department says this year will be the same. “We have an extremely large police presence.”
Vendors are confident knowing those officers are there. “When I leave at night, I know that they have security and police force patrolling and that is reassuring.”
September 11th changed the way police plan for large events like this. “We can’t stick our heads in the sand and say ‘oh, it’s just the Flowertown Festival. Everything’s going to be OK,’” Rogers pointed out.
Securing an event like this is a huge undertaking for law enforcement. They consider things happening locally, regionally and worldwide. “It’s changed everything we do,” Rogers stated.
They try to factor in any and all risks and come up with a plan of action. “We have to be cognizant of what is going on and the possibility that something could happen and then how are we going to handle it if it does happen.”
Bill Lam is glad that they do. “There’s no need to be afraid. That’s what the terrorists want us to do is to be afraid. No! Not going to happen! This is the United States. We all fly the flag and we’re happy to be American Citizens, doing what we get to do.”
Summerville PD says leave your animals at home. Also, no drones will be allowed to fly over Summerville this weekend. Both are part of their effort to keep you safe while you browse through the handmade art, enjoy the attractions and eat greasy foods.
For more info on the Flowertown Festival click here.