‘Invisible shield of protection’: July 4 security heightened, but you probably won’t notice

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NEW YORK CITY -- While most of us are looking toward the sky this weekend, thousands of police officers will be watching us to make sure we're safe this Fourth of July. While you might notice some of the men and women in uniform, security experts say there's much more security keeping us safe behind the scenes.

"What is most important, more than anything else at any other time in our history in the war on terrorism is the information sharing. You've got thousands of uniformed officers out there, but it's what you don't see that really counts, that invisible shield of protection," former FBI member Lt. Steve Rogers said.

Friday at the South Street Seaport, it was tough to find uniformed officers in the sea of people in town for the Fourth of July. But NYPD had a clear presence with patrol cars parked in plain sight, and barricades and lights in place for Saturday's fireworks spectacular.

Earlier this week, NYPD Deputy Commissioner John Miller said there were no credible threats for the holiday, but said the department would be using radiation detectors on land and sea to make sure the only bang this weekend comes from the fireworks.

"The message here is come to the fireworks, bring your families, have a great time because you're going to have one of the most well-policed, best protected events in what is one of the safest venues in the world," Miller said.

The Marchetti family took that advice Friday, visiting lower Manhattan landmarks from Ridgewood, N.J., to celebrate Independence Day.

"We just took the cruise around the island. We saw the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge, Freedom Tower -- and there's so much to see here, so it's a great spot," Jen Marchetti said.

During the visit, the family said they noticed more cops in the crowd. But they agreed the additional security made them feel safe not scared before this weekend's main event.

"You always want to keep an extra eye on things, but the city's safe and we're happy to be here," Marchetti said.

The NYPD says the most important part of security this weekend is making sure those who are out and about are aware of their surroundings. If you see anything suspicious, they ask that you call 1-886-SAFE-NYS.