FosterFest

JAY HARE / DOTHAN EAGLE A Dothan Police officer watches the crowd as they cross over Main Street during FosterFest in May, 2016.

Additional security will be provided at future Foster Fest events after nine people were arrested for fighting at the June 7 event.

Seven of the nine people arrested were juveniles, according to Dothan Police Chief Steve Parrish.

Parrish said he was notified following May’s event with concerns about unsupervised juveniles attending the event.

“The police department and the Dothan Downtown Redevelopment Authority met to discuss several issues related to last Friday’s event,” Parrish said. “After our meeting it was decided to increase police presence, which will include undercover officers, increasing security lighting and detouring traffic at Main Street and Museum Street. Providing the detour will make crossing the street safer for those attending the event.”

Video surveillance cameras may also be added in the near future, the chief added.

Foster Fest events occur on the first Friday of each month from March until October. The event continues to grow in popularity each month.

Thousands of individuals attend Foster Fest, which takes place the first Friday of the month from March to October. Parrish is determined to maintain a safe, family environment for those attending.

“Foster Fest is like every other event that brings a huge crowd -- a majority of those attending are there to have a good time and enjoy the activities. But then you always have a few who are there to try to start trouble. We will not tolerate those who are attending to start trouble. Foster Fest is a good family event, and the police department will not stand by and let it be overruled by those who are there to start trouble.”

Parrish urges everyone in attending Foster Fest to report any suspicious activity to law enforcement.

“We have had very little trouble at Foster Fest since this event originated,” Parrish said. “It is our goal to make sure everyone is safe while attending this event. If anyone notices any suspicious activity, notify an officer.”

Parrish also had a message for unsupervised juveniles.

“Last week’s arrests at Foster Fest were juveniles from other areas, not just Dothan,” Parrish said. “However, no matter where you are from if you are arrested, you will be adjudicated in juvenile courts and the parents of that juvenile will also be held accountable for their child’s actions. We welcome everyone to attend Foster Fest. Everyone is welcome with open arms. However, if your goal is attend event and start trouble, you may want to look at going somewhere else.”

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Follow Michele Forehand on Twitter @micheleforehan1

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