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Deputies focus on safety at Silver Beach for July 4th

ST. JOSEPH, Mich. -- Following a brawl on Memorial Day, the Berrien County Sheriff's Department is increasing its manpower to keep Independence Day safe on Silver Beach. They say the bigger problem this year is lost kids.

The fight broke out between groups of teenagers this past Memorial Day and landed a 16-year-old boy in jail.

"Yeah there has been a lot of stuff lately to make you not come, but you know, incidents can happen anywhere, so you just have to pray," said Jody Nielsen, a mother of three who has been coming to Silver Beach on July 4th for her entire life.

The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department did more than pray Wednesday to ensure the safety of beach go-ers.

“We’ve got the extra manpower here and we’re constantly supervising and monitoring the crowds to see if there’s any potential for any immediate danger or issues. If we sense an issue, we’re going to address it before it gets out of hand. We’re dealing with human nature, so it’s hard to predict, but we’re constantly monitoring so we don’t have a situation like we had on Memorial Day," said Berrien County Chief Deputy Robert Boyce.

Boyce said that a main concern for this holiday is the large amount of lost kids.

“Every five minutes or so, we’re getting calls on the radio of lost children.” Boyce said.

Thankfully, all of the reported lost children have been found.

As of 11 p.m. on Wednesday, no fights were reported at Silver Beach.


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