Is Tri-State safe this Fourth of July? - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Is Tri-State safe this Fourth of July?

Greater Cincinnati Fusion Center gathers information on possible terror threats. (FOX19 NOW) Greater Cincinnati Fusion Center gathers information on possible terror threats. (FOX19 NOW)
A bomb-sniffing dog responded to a perceived threat that evacuated and then shut down the Hamilton County Courthouse this week. (FOX19 NOW) A bomb-sniffing dog responded to a perceived threat that evacuated and then shut down the Hamilton County Courthouse this week. (FOX19 NOW)
A local threat expert says the public should feel safe to go out to their favorite Fourth of July events. (FOX19 NOW/file) A local threat expert says the public should feel safe to go out to their favorite Fourth of July events. (FOX19 NOW/file)

There's no reason not to feel safe going out to large gatherings for fireworks or parades this Fourth of July holiday weekend, a local expert says.

But if you see something suspicious, never hesitate to report it, Hamilton County Sheriff's Captain Mike Hartzler said in an appearance Friday on FOX19 NOW Morning News.

"Look for unusual items," he advises. "If you see someone put a package down at the airport and leave it and walk away from it, report it. Watch for unusual behavior and unusual statements on social media or someone asking lots of questions about security."

Federal agencies are warning terrorists may attack Americans as they celebrate. Major cities are beefing up security at popular events.

The Tri-State is no exception, especially with hundreds of thousands of revelers expected Downtown for All-Star Week festivities leading up to the July 14 All-Star Game at Great American Ball Park.

"There's no reason to be afraid to go out. They should go out and feel comfortable and enjoy the events, especially the upcoming All-Star Game," he said. "But we ask that they be aware and trust their instincts and report suspicious activity."

The sheriff's office is part of a team of law enforcement including Cincinnati police and the FBI that will be out overseeing security at Downtown and Great American Ball Park.

In addition to his duties at the sheriff's office, Hartzler also is the director of Greater Cincinnati Fusion Center. Formed in cities across the nation post 9-11, these agencies gather information on potential terrorist activity and threats and then disseminate it to the appropriate law enforcement agency for investigation.

Report suspicious activity by calling Greater Cincinnati Fusion Center: 513-263-8000 or go online.

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