Safety measures ramped up in downtown Macon for First Friday

Bibb deputies will patrol throughout the night to ensure everyone stays safe.

MACON, Georgia(41NBC/WMGT) – For the second time in 10 months, the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office is ramping up downtown security in preparation for First Friday.

“We’ll be prepared for whatever could possibly happen,” Captain Wilton Collins said.

Big crowds are expected to pack the streets. This is the first First Friday celebration since the July 24 shooting on Cherry Street that left two dead and two injured. Newtown Macon says the incident should not stop people from going downtown and enjoying themselves.

Emily Hopkins with Newtown Macon says they’re adding more people on the streets to keep an eye out for suspicious activity.

“We do have our business improvement district safety ambassadors that will walk the streets,” Hopkins said. “We also have our hype team members, so if you see them, you can ask them for help, they can give you directions, help you with parking meters and that sort of thing. That will add to the number of people out as well. There will be plenty of extra eyes and ears on the streets for everyone to have a safe experience.”

The Bibb County Sheriff’s Office says you can expect to see more deputies throughout the night. Some will be in uniform and some will be dressed in regular clothes.

“We will be in cars, and we will have some that are on foot as well,” Cpt. Collins said. “We’ll have uniformed officers, and we’ll have plain clothes. The best defense people could possibly have is to call 911.”

Debra Gray, the owner of Alexandria’s Boutique & Salon, says her business will be open a little later for First Friday. Fray says she’s hopeful shoppers will feel safe to come out.

“With the increase in the police presence and that sort of thing, I’m sure people will feel safe to come down,”Gray said.

For more details on specific events going on for First Friday, visit Newtown Macon’s Facebook page.

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