From a public safety perspective, the Fourth of July holiday is timed perfectly this year, according to Nantucket Police Department Lieutenant Angus MacVicar. Falling on a Tuesday, MacVicar said, means the island will be spared a full weekend of the “heavy partying” that has become the norm on Independence Day on the island.
“Our experience has been the best time for July 4th to fall is just about where it’s falling: in the middle of the week,” MacVicar told the Current. “The heavy partying occurs on July 4th only, typically. It doesn’t mean July 4th week isn’t always busy, but that sort of heavy partying typically always happens on July 4th only and we have stayed on top of and will stay on top of it again this year.”
To that end, the Nantucket Police Department once again requested a complement of Massachusetts State Police Troopers to come to the island on July 4th. That request was granted, and the Troopers are expected to arrive on Tuesday to supplement NPD’s officers and CSOs who will be on patrol. MacVicar declined to specify how many Troopers were requested, and how many will be arriving at Steamboat Wharf on the Fourth. Last year, only two came over from the mainland, a significantly smaller number than in years past.
“As the plan stands now, we asked the Massachusetts State Police to supplement our patrol staff with State Police officers, and they have agreed to do that once again this year and we’re certainly appreciative of that,” MacVicar said. “Our plan is to have full staff plus two from the NPD side, plus a number of State Police officers.”
While the department will be prepared to respond to any beach in the event of an emergency, MacVicar said, this year’s plan - just like in 2022 - does not call for establishing checkpoints at beaches like Nobadeer and 40th Pole as it had done in the past. Beachgoers at those popular spots, however, should be prepared for the police department to shut down vehicle access early in the day if they reach capacity for cars on the sand.
In 2022, by the time the town’s lifeguards got to the stands at Nobadeer and 40th Pole around 10 a.m., there were already thousands of people and hundreds of cars on the beaches. By 11:30 a.m., Nantucket police announced that 40th Pole had “reached capacity” and prohibited further vehicle access. Nobadeer reached capacity just before 2:30 p.m. and was similarly shut down to additional cars.
“We’re not going to have straightaway checkpoints as we’ve had in years past,” MacVicar said late last week. “We’ll have them available and put them in place if we see one beach getting busier than it normally would be. We want people to enjoy but enjoy responsibly.”