Tega Cay Police Chief Asks City To Cancel 4th Of July Celebrations Out Of Concerns Over Public Safety, Coronavirus

TEGA CAY, S.C. — Despite concerns from law enforcement, the City of Tega Cay is moving forward with its 4th of July celebrations, which include a fireworks display and a parade. So far, Rock Hill, Fort Mill and Carowinds have cancelled their 4th of July celebrations.

In a letter written to Tega Cay City Council, Police Chief Steve Parker said 4th of July, along with Halloween, are two of the biggest nights for call volume for law enforcement. He also said he’s concerned that since Tega Cay will have the only fireworks display in the area, people will flood to the small city.

“Over the past three years we have noted a sizeable increase in people coming into the City with last year being the largest we have ever seen,” Chief Parker wrote in the letter, “[Tega Cay Police Department] doesn’t have close to the manpower or staffing to appropriately handle traffic or major issues that could arise in the City at the time of the firework show.”

Parker says not only will there be an issue with parking, but also with his officers potentially being exposed to COVID-19.  Tega Cay’s mayor, David O’Neil, says the city has worked out a safe traffic plan with the police department to avoid these problems.

“In the past we’ve had thousands of people come out to watch the fireworks. This year we’ll have a traffic plan, we’ll have a parking plan,” said O’Neil, “To watch the fireworks safely.”

O’Neil says the fireworks can be seen from miles away, so people can social distance while still watching the show.

“Remember, this is outside. This isn’t a stadium or an auditorium.  This is wide open and you can practice all the social distance that you want.”

Chief Parker says his job is to bring all of the information to council, but ultimately it is not his decision to make.  He says his department will do their best to keep people safe. That includes shutting down the city to non-residents when all of the parking lots fill up. He says this is to make sure people don’t park in the streets, blocking off access to emergency vehicles.




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