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Increased Security At Main Street Arts Festival

(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Elizabeth Dinh
Elizabeth joined CBS 11 News from Seattle's KOMO-TV in December 2...
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FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - After tragedy struck the Boston Marathon this week, security at other events is at the top of everyone’s mind. That includes the Main Street Fort Worth Arts Festival, which officially begins on Thursday morning. Visitors at the festival should not be surprised to see an increased security presence this year.

The event started as a fun downtown Fort Worth gathering to celebrate music and the arts, but it has grown into a four-day long festival that attracts hundreds of thousands of people. Booths are already set up to welcome folks to the free event. And amid the excitement this year, there will likely be an undertone of caution.

Visitors at the festival can expect to see more uniformed officers walking around downtown. The Fort Worth Police Department confirmed that they are increasing their presence at the event, but they did not elaborate on their plans for security reasons. “As a precaution, FWPD will be deploying additional uniformed and undercover officers to supplement those already assigned to the upcoming festivals, races and events. In addition to the officers, bomb detecting K-9 units will be sweeping the area in and around all large public events,” the department said in a statement.

Event organizers are prepared, too. Detailed safety and emergency plans are in place and include the city’s emergency crews. Officials ask visitors to keep bags and packages with them at all times. Police warned, “Any unattended package will be highly scrutinized by police and possibly confiscated for safety precautions.”

Festival organizers still want North Texans to enjoy themselves at the weekend event. But, as everyone has heard before during times of heightened national security, attendants should be mindful of suspicious activities, and report any unusual situations to law enforcement officials immediately. “As always, persons should remain vigilant and report anything suspicious to the nearest police officer or call 911. Citizens should follow ‘If You See Something Say Something’ guidelines as outlined by Homeland Security,” said the police statement.

The Main Street Fort Worth Arts Festival starts Thursday and runs through Sunday. Click here for more information about the event.

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