Enhanced security for Pat's Run after Boston tragedy

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by Alice Kleinpeter

Video report by Natalie Brand

Posted on April 15, 2013 at 4:51 PM

Updated Tuesday, Apr 16 at 12:51 AM

TEMPE, Ariz. – Officials with the Tempe Police Dept. would not go into specifics about the security measures they are taking for Pat’s Run this weekend but they confirm that security will be enhanced in light of the blasts that occurred at the Boston Marathon and JFK Library on Monday.

When asked about concerns surrounding Pat’s Run, officials said, “We can't stop going out in public and doing the things that makes our lives keep moving forward and I truly believe that if the public becomes involved and joins us and local law enforcement we can make these events...reasonably safe."

A lot is still unknown about the Boston incident and as the story develops police in Tempe are dealing with the challenges of preparing for the race.

“Obviously after this tragedy…we have enhanced our security; we’re bringing in more personnel, we’re going to be doing certain components that we can’t mention,” said Sergeant Michael Pooley.

Sgt. Pooley also confirmed that police have reached out to the FBI in preparation, “to see if there’s any intelligence bulletins that we need to know about. If there’s any credible threats obviously that’s something very important and we’re taking this very seriously.”

The Pat Tillman Foundation says the race will move forward with added security.

Local runner Heather Weber says some members of her 53 person team are now considering whether to run.

"People are backing out even," said Weber.  "We've had a couple of a couple of people back out."

However, Weber remains committed to running in honor of Pat Tillman, the former ASU and Cardinals football player killed in Afghanistan.  Tillman enlisted in the army following the September 11th terror attacks.

"In all honesty, I think he would want us to run. I think that’s why our group is still running. He would want us to run,” said Weber.

Police say they will continue to work with local and federal agencies to devise a plan to address the new concerns and large crowds expected.

 "It’s extremely challenging because it’s not a secure environment," said Commander Noah Johnson of Tempe Police.  "We can’t put fences around it; we can’t put an officer every two feet, so we really rely on every set of eyes out there."

Police ask that everyone remains aware of what is going on around them and contact police if they have any information or hear or see anything suspicious.

The Pat Tillman Foundation released a statement in regards to Saturday’s race.

“The Pat Tillman Foundation is closely monitoring the tragic events that occurred today at the Boston Marathon. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families in the wake of this horrific incident. As we move forward for the 9th Annual Pat’s Run, the Tillman Foundation is working closely with the City of Tempe and Tempe Police, Arizona State University, Arizona State University Police Department and additional security to ensure the safety of all our runners and supporters on the ground this weekend. Increased security measures are being put into place as we move forward with the race.”

More than 30,000 people are expected to attend the event. That includes volunteers, participants and spectators.

 

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