DETROIT (WWJ) – In a public message out Friday, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing invited area residents downtown Monday night for a “safe” holiday celebration.
“I want everyone to come to downtown Detroit and enjoy the fireworks and be assured that we will provide a safe and wholesome environment for this regional family event,” Bing said in a statement.
This message from the mayor stands in contrast to a somewhat ominous statement made last week by Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee in which he warned of possible violence — saying it’s been rumored that “gang members have some intentions” regarding this year’s show.
“I need them (gang members) to understand the full support that we have, the full visibility that we have, to make sure that this is going to be a family friendly event,” said Godbee. “But any inkling of anything other than that, we will be at the ready to take the appropriate action.”
Detroit police will be joined on patrol by officers from across the tri-county area when the fireworks are shot off just after 10 p.m. on June 25. (More on this, here).
Last year two teens were shot along the Detroit Riverwalk when a gun one of them was carrying went off by accident.
While there was some concern this may be the city’s last fireworks show, the mayor said he’s working on a regional events plan that will ensure the fireworks and Thanksgiving Parade will continue.
Bing said Friday he has been holding meetings with the administration, business leaders, and potential sponsors to push ahead on a funding plan.