City officials discuss new safety measures for J'ouvert festival

Posted: Updated:
THE BRONX -

City officials discussed new safety and security measures Monday to prevent violence at the upcoming J'ouvert festival.

The J'overt festivities will kick off in two weeks, and Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner James O'Neill  say they want to make sure those participating stay safe by adding more lighting, checkpoints and police officers.

While the event is a joyful celebration of Caribbean culture, in recent years the procession on the morning of the West Indian Day Parade has been marred by violence.  Two people were fatally shot last year, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo's aide was killed along the J'ouvert route in 2015.

The city will deploy hundreds more police officers and increase checkpoints and light towers by one-third.  It will also have a later start time of 6 a.m. instead of the usual 4 a.m. Alcohol and backpacks will be confiscated.

Police will also start their sweep of the area the night before.  

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