Locals re-evaluating security in light of Boston race bombings
Posted April 16, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — The annual Susan G. Komen Triangle Race for the Cure in Raleigh attracts 15,000 to 20,000 runners each year, and this June will be no exception, despite Monday's pair of explosions at the Boston Marathon.
"That is not something that has even come up as an option that we would cancel," Pam Kohl, executive director of the foundation's Triangle affiliate, said Tuesday. "This is something that's so important for the work that we do."
But Monday's bomb explosions, which killed three people and injured more than 170, is causing organizers of the race and others to think more about security.
"First thing this morning, we started getting together with our security team and talking about whether there are things we need to change," Kohl said.
Security is also on the minds of local law enforcement authorities.
"There is no safe place anymore," said Frank Perry, a commissioner with the state Department of Public Safety and retired FBI agent. "You always wonder, what is next? How coordinated is this?"
The Raleigh Police Department says it closely monitors security successes and breaches elsewhere and updates its practices when warranted.
"We say it won't happen here, but in reality, we have to look at it as it will happen here, and it could happen here tomorrow," Sheriff Donnie Harrison said.
Wake County sheriff's deputies guard county buildings, such as the Wake County Courthouse, and schools, and they also provide security for local events.
"Once something like Boston happens, it puts us back on our toes, so to speak," Harrison said. "We think we stay on our toes all the time, but sometimes we do get complacent."
The Cary Police Department also helps protect public events, including concerts at Koka Booth Ampitheater.
"People should rest assured that we are doing what we can to keep an event running safe," said Lt. Joe Clifton.
Crime scene investigators from across the state happened to be meeting in Cary this week for their annual conference.
As participants learned about how to use the latest technology to investigate terrorism, the talk Tuesday naturally turned to Boston.
"The forensics side, the analysis of the evidence that is collected at these scenes is extremely important in providing leads to investigators as to who's involved in these types of incidents," said Sam Pennica, director of the City-County Bureau of Identification, which examines crime scenes for law enforcement agencies in Wake County.
Perry said press briefings have suggested that there are still many unanswered questions about who is responsible for the attacks.
"It is a clue when the FBI puts up a 1-800 number asking for clues," he said. "I think they were saying, 'We don't really know,' and I can respect that. I think in previous decades the FBI would not be so candid."