Just because Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police will be out in force and ready to rumble during the uptown Fourth of July festivities, that doesn't mean you can't have fun. Police, who say an extra 450 or so extra officers will be on hand for the Independence Day revelry, don't want to be spoilsports, so they're finding happy, fun ways to liven up their holiday law enforcement. Police spokesperson A. Mitchell Palmer said today that special Patriot Patrols will cruise the city, using laser speed-detection guns in a search for speeders. Meanwhile, civilian cruisers who clog traffic and play loud music uptown will be yanked from their vehicles by officers dressed in special "Uncle Sam" riot gear. What's more, cruisers' cars will be towed to a "Liberty Lot," surrounded by a razor-wired fence draped in red-white-and-blue streamers. DWI suspects will be asked to prove sobriety by singing all four verses of the "Star-Spangled Banner." And that's not all; no matter the infraction, everyone arrested will get a complimentary flag-design "Busted On The Fourth!" thermal mug. Even party-goers who go out of control will be entitled to a treat -- being beaten with jaunty "Freedom Sticks," truncheons festively decorated in a stars-and-stripes design. So never mind the naysayers who claim police are taking the fun out of the Fourth, and remember: what's a little fear and intimidation when it's for the sake of security? It's what the Founding Fathers would have wanted.
Have a safe, secure Fourth!