Officers work overtime to keep Fourth of July Celebration safe

YAKIMA, Wash.-- Yakima has been celebrating the fourth all day long. The food, music, and rides at State Fair Park are all in preparation for the big fireworks tonight. But, after years of violence at the celebration the police are increasing patrols much more than normal.

Tim Jones is an Army Veteran. He has gone to State Fair Park for the fourth of July celebration since it started. Over the years, Tim has gotten fed up with what he sees.

"A bunch of fights, fight going on, gangs, whatever, guys trying to pick up little girls and stuff," he said.

Police have seen it too and are taking action this year. In an effort to prevent the violence, YPD has increased patrols at the park.

"It's good because I feel more protected and for the kids and everything," David Jimenez said.

David attends every year and he too, has seen the violence.

"There's been quite a few fights that I've witnessed," he said.

YPD's goal for this year: to not have any. There are 15 officers patrolling the celebration. Some are on overtime and it's covered by the city. But, David says his taxpayer money is worth safety.

"I think it's good that they enforce that because there's a lot of usually theres a lot of fights and they could get pretty bad," Jimenez said.

Earlier this year the city decided not to pay for police patrols and escorts during some summer events. But it will continue to pay for this one.

"I support the police department for doing all they can," Jones said.

The success of the new patrols will be measured after tonight.