PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia police are preparing for 6th annual ‘Made In America’ concert this weekend along the Ben Franklin Parkway.
With thousands expected to gather in front of the Art Museum, Chief Inspector Frank Vanore says Philly cops will be working alongside state police and federal officers to ensure public safety.
“We have a lot of people going to be on this footprint, so if you see something you think is odd, we want you to call 9-1-1. We have plenty of officers to check into it,” he says. “There’s a Homeland Security aspect with our security plan. However, when we have a big event like this, we always encourage suspicious activity reporting.”
Vanore says public drunkenness, underage drinking and crowd control are usually the big issues they face during the event. Water bottles will be allowed into venue this year.
“We want to cut down on our fire rescue having to deal with people who are dehydrated, so if you have an empty bottle and you bring it, as long as it is not glass, you can bring that and use that to drink water,” he says.
There will also be two ride-sharing pickup locations: one at 19th and Arch Streets, the other at 22nd and Spring Garden Streets, to help with crowd congestion.
“It is a little bit of confusion,” Vanore admits, “but we want to avoid conflict, so we have different locations set up.”
Anthony Wardlaw–a street vendor- says he expects to do well.
“On a special weekend like this, I can do anywhere from $1,500 to $2,000,” he says.
One other concern for the weekend is the unfavorable forecast.
“If we have unexpected weather event, lightning, thunder, wind that would cause us to evacuate. We encourage people to follow instruction. Obviously, the concert is going to stop at that point,” he said. “A lot of people, when they get their spot in front of the stage, they don’t want to move from that spot, but when we are asking you to move there’s a reason. So we are going to ask you to move, and when the concert continues, you will have plenty of time or get your spot back.”
Vanore adds that with a heated political climate, he is unaware of any protest permits issued, and says any banners or signs will not be allowed inside the venue.