NEPTUNE BEACH, Fla. --- Thousands are celebrating America's birthday and this year, the Neptune Beach Department says they are taking security to the next level. According to officials, 10,000 people are expected on First Street this 4th of July.
Neptune Beach native, Janice, says the extra patrol is necessary.
"I think it's necessary," said Janice.
Janice has been living on Neptune Beach for 16 years and she says these days, it's busier than ever.
"Of course, you can see it's so crowded now. We used to have barely any people on the beach, hardly," said Janice.
Because of the crowds, all 19 Neptune beach police officers are working. Not only that, but an additional 12 officers with the Jacksonville Sheriff's office are coming in to help. According to Neptune Beach Police Chief, David Semach, that is double the number from last year's 4th of July.
"We want them to come down and have fun, but we don't want them to come here and be disruptive and unfortunately, alcohol is a major factor in that," said Sembach.
According to Sembach, bikers must also remember not to block right of ways on roads or side walks. And, as for Janice, she says the increased police presence is allowing her to enjoy her company..even more.
"I've got my three friends here from Atlanta and we are just...having a total blast," said Janice.