Police checkpoints lead to smaller crowd at Brandermill fireworks

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CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) - Checkpoints conducted by the Chesterfield Police Department at entrances to the Brandermill Community in Chesterfield County kept the crowd much smaller at this year's July 4th fireworks show.

Brandermill residents were allowed inside in their cars, but members of the general public had to turn around.

People with proof of reservations to the restaurant inside of Brandermill were allowed in too, but not spur of the moment diners like Eric Burtner.

"That never entered my mind that I needed a reservation or be a Brandermill resident to enter the restaurant," Burtner said.

Bob Watson, who works at Brandermill, said the stricter rules ensure emergency crews can gain easy access if need be.

"Traffic was a terrible issue ," Watson said about last year's fourth

Watson said the congestion could have hindered rescue efforts, but won't any more .

"That is one of the reasons for the restrictions on cars...they parked every which way last year," Watson said.

Macie Brady, who lives in Brandermill, still reflects on 7 year old Brendon Mackey's death at this Fourth of July event last year.

He was hit and killed by celebratory gunfire.

"Since we woke up this morning we have been thinking about it," Brady said.

Brady and her daughter, Brianna, both said they feel safer this year.

"I'm not scared at all because I know they have lots of security," Brianna Brady said.



  • dave

    Henrico need to make firwworks legal,were going to do it anyway.maybe they should spend more time going after people firing guns in the air and robbing gas stations a block from headquarters.maybe even tackle that whole prostitute issue they have along broad st.

    • Robbie

      Or you could get off your whining, sniveling pathetic arse and become involved. I believe that was your advice earlier. I ad-libbed a bit.

  • Gail

    If Brandermill is really worried about celebratory gunfire then they need to look at their own residents. I just read a story on another website where a juvenile in Brandermill shot a dog during an argument. That gives you an idea of the kind of people that live in that neighborhood now. It’s sketchy.

    • Sarah

      Actually the person who shot the dog doesn’t live in Brandermill,I know this because the dog belonged to my Niece and her boyfriend.

  • Dee Pisciella

    The only difference between this year and any other year is it is a park and walk event for visitors because we have to allow safety to trump convenience. Many outsiders were there but parked their cars and walked. Now EMS and FIRE, as well as the CCPD, can get to the event and to our neighborhoods in emergencies. That’s been a real problem for many years. It’s not about celebratory gunfire or about Brendon Mackey (we all still grieve his loss), it’s about safety first for all those who attend and our residents. The County put their foot down and we complied because we all understand no event is worth it without safety measures in place.

    • Gregory

      Brandermill fireworks have been going on for years and the fact Brandermill just came to the realization that they needed to make a change is laughable. Both Brandermill and Wood Lake have used last year to make their party private for “safety reasons” is just a poor excuse for them to make it into a private party. Both events have been going on for years with little to no concern for safety.

  • Jim

    Does anyone whether those are public streets or are they maintained by the neighborhood association?

    • John

      Their streets are public , but with the attorneys and judges and so on got what they wanted. A private party on your money.

  • Harold Jackson

    Brandermill residents enjoyed their private fireworks with Chesterfield Police Dept denying taxpayers who help pay for the roads and their salaries the opportunity.

  • Gregory

    I just hope this wasn’t taxpayer funded and I hope Brandermill’s HOA paid for the police to do so. I understand the need for safety but maybe the police would have been better used on the streets and not keeping thier private party private

  • Irma

    Oh, if only we could have such a police presence in all neighborhoods to protect all citizens, especially since we all pay taxes. My sincere sympathy to the loss of the young boy’s life in Brandermill as well as the loss of life for the many other children killed and injured by gunfire in all communities. Rich, poor, red, yellow, black or white, they are all precious children and deserve a safe and secure environment.

  • Jessica

    I just wanted to write in to say how wonderful it was to have a limited crowd at the fireworks this year. The fact that the parking was regulated to residents only made the show a lot more enjoyable. We pay HOAs for the perks of this community and “share” it frequently with the rest of Chesterfield county which made in the past the fireworks and Sunday park not worth while as a resident.

    This year it was very enjoyable and made me feel proud and lucky to be a resident of the community. It’s unfortunate that it took the death of a child, to push the regulation of such a popular event.

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