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Ways to improve security at Summer Fest are to be discussed after the 4th of July, said Village Commissioner Mark Hosty, Chairman of the Summerfest Committee who helps head the festival committee.

For two years, the free evening festival has been plagued by groups of unruly teenagers, which have disturbed the crowds, according to police reports. Friday, June 8, groups of teenage boys ran through the crowds in a dangerous way on the first night of the festival, causing the Forest Park police to summon help from neighboring police departments. Six teens were given local ordinance tickets by Forest Park police.

In 2011, police reportedly tasered an Oak Park teenager the night of June 4 after what was described as a “scuffle” in the 400 block of Ferdinand involving a crowd of between 25 and 100 persons after the boy was allegedly shouting obscenities. He and an 18 year old were charged with mob action.

Hosty said organizers changed their security approach Saturday night this year.

“We saw what worked and what didn’t and we learned,” he said. A group from the village, the police department and the Chamber of Commerce will conduct a “post mortem” to discuss ways to “tweak” the festival in the future, Hosty said.

Jean Lotus

Jean Lotus loves community journalism. She covers news, features, two school boards, village council, crime, park district and writes obits for Forest Park Review. She also covers the police beat for...