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Westland officials could decide to ban carnivals

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Westland Police Chief Jeff Jedrusik Westland Police Chief Jeff Jedrusik
WESTLAND, Mich. (WJBK) -

It's a popular pastime for many families, but now Westland officials are talking about banning carnivals. It's not the carnivals themselves, but rather it's that they're attracting too much trouble.

"The carnivals have been attracting some unruly crowds, some gang activity, some fights, and not just our community, but communities around us, and we're just kind of looking to see what we can do to keep everybody safe," said Westland Police Chief Jeff Jedrusik.

He says over the last few years, the problems have seemed to get worse. Last month, a fight involving more than 100 young men broke out at the Westland Firefighters Charity Fund Carnival. Part of it spilled into a nearby shopping center. Police were forced to make several arrests.

The chief says it comes down to rival gangs marking their territories and using social media and carnivals in different communities to do it.

"It's their carnival, and they're fighting off the other gangs that show up, and that's what we're trying to get away from. We're just trying to keep everything safe," Jedrusik said.

Westland's Summer Festival is just around the corner. Westland is not looking to do away with it all together, but possibly going back to the way it used to be with no rides and no midway shows. It would just be a festival in hopes it would draw more families and not crime.

"We start to go back to more of a community oriented food, music, fireworks and try to get more of the community involved," Jedrusik said.

The chief said if they do go forward with the carnival, he did also suggest shutting it down before dark hoping that would help with security issues.

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