Police ramp up security for 54th annual East Lansing Art Festival

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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Making sure everyone is safe…that’s the goal during this weekend’s art festival and according to Director Michelle Carlson, there’s a reason why you’ll see particular trucks parked in the streets.

“We want people to come and enjoy the festival and enjoy the art and feel safe and secure,” said Carlson.

For the past four years, Carlson has been the East Lansing Art Festival’s Director and she says with the recent terror in New York City’s Time Square…taking precautions here locally is critical and that’s why this truck is set up as a barrier.

“We’ve put the dump truck there to help it be a block both visually and physically,” Carlson added.

For East Lansing Police Sergeant Chad Pride, he hopes the barricades will discourage anyone from committing the inevitable.

“You hope that people see those barricades and decide not to do the type of acts that occurred in New York,” Sgt. Pride stated.

Sgt. Pride says East Lansing P.D. will also be keeping an eye on merchandise as last year 11 pieces of art work were stolen but later recovered.

“We have four extra officers that will be in tonight during the later night hours and then we have extra officers that will be in tomorrow during the day and again tomorrow night,” said Sgt. Pride.

“We try to reiterate with the artists not to leave valuables in their tent because it is just a tent and that’s hard to secure,” Carlson stated.

Carlson says safety is the top priority and that’s something the city of East Lansing takes very seriously.

“We increased the numbers of security guards…we hired a security firm,” Carlson added.

The East Lansing Art Festival brings in thousands of people all across the state and with these security measures in place, Carlson and East Lansing Police hope everyone has a fun, yet safe time.

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