Crowd gathers for 4th of July party at Jacksonville Beach

Police out in force trying to keep residents, visitors safe

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JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – Cars, pedestrians and police cruisers everywhere you turned at Jacksonville Beach on Wednesday night as people packed the area to celebrate the Fourth of July.

Police managed traffic and tried to avoid problems by looking for suspicious behavior. They asked for the public's help: "If you see something, say something."

Police don't want a repeat of last year, when Glenn McNeil was shot to death near the Seawalk Pavilion hours after the fireworks.

Officers hoped their biggest problem was traffic. They urged people to be careful and remain on the lookout for pedestrians and people on bicycles.

"You’ve definitely got to watch for pedestrians. Not only are there people on bikes, there are also more people walking," beachgoer Khyla Trotter said. "It’s not just that, we have a lot more cops out and everything, and they are helping us get through everything, so it’s really good."

"People are so friendly and peaceful today. The breeze is smooth. The waves are kicking up, so it’s fun," said Anthony Kishko.

The fireworks began at 9 p.m., thrilling those old and some seeing their first show.

UNCUT: Jacksonville Beach fireworks show

"It’s where fireworks go up and the little ones go into sparkles," Jacksonville Beach resident J.R. Mayo said.

Thursday morning, Jacksonville Beach police reported there were a total of 14 arrests -- all for misdemeanors. Most were for disorderly intoxication or resisting arrest without violence.