MORE COPS & TRAINS SLATED FOR KABOOM
Part of the crowd overtook the parking lot of the 7-11 at Maple Avenue and West Front Street at last year’s KaBoom show. (Click to enlarge)
In the wake of rowdiness following last year’s KaBoom Fireworks on the Navesink show, Red Bank and New Jersey Transit police are finalizing details for securing the borough train station for this year’s edition of the event, officials say.
Many of the 20 arrests made at last year’s show occurred after the event in the train station vicinity, where pushing and shoving flared up as revelers attempting to leave town by rail encountered a long boarding lines, officials say.
Police Chief Steve McCarthy tells redbankgreen that the train station will “absolutely” be an area of special attention, with more cops under the command of both the borough and NJT’s police department assigned to cover it.
In addition, the rail utility is putting on extra trains to address demand, and selling $6 day passes to speed boardings after the fireworks, says NJT spokesman Dan Stessel.
Citing policy, McCarthy declined to discuss the number of officers slated to work the event. The borough force is supplemented for the event by officers from other towns who are on overtime.
“They put out a lot of people for that event,” McCarthy says of NJT, adding that the two agencies are working “very, very closely on this.”
Stessel confirmed that NJT will have additional transit police on-scene, as well as extra rail operations personnel to raise and lower gates at grade crossings to safely expedite the movement of pedestrians and cars when trains are stopped in the station. Normally, an automated system keeps gates down when trains are stopped, even when the railcars are not blocking streets.
The agency has also added nine Red Bank arrivals and departures to its normal Saturday schedule, Stessel said. The post-show schedule includes two additional trains heading north and three heading south.
Here are the complete skeds:
In addition, Stessel said, the agency is launching a promotion today to get riders to buy $6 day passes for July 3. Those tickets allow for unlimited travel between Bay Head and Aberdeen/Matawan for that day only.
Advance purchases are highly recommended, Stessel said, to help address one of the problems that led to last year’s frustrations: long lines of unticketed riders.
“Our goal is to ensure that people have the return ticket before they get to Red Bank,” Stessel said.
The day passes are available at Red Bank and along the North Jersey Coast Line between Point Pleasant and Aberdeen/Matawan.
More info about NJTranit’s plans for July 3 can be found here.
This year, the cost of police protection, estimated at $60,000, will be paid for by the KaBoom Fireworks Committee, the nonprofit that organizes the show. Previously, that cost was borne by Red Bank taxpayers.