BLOOMINGTON, Minn. - Police chiefs from across the metro and outstate Minnesota gathered in Bloomington Thursday to hear from the head of the Boston Police Department on ways to make large-scale events safer.
"I have a unique perspective," said Boston Police Department Superintendent William Evans. "I ran in the race and then was in charge of the command center for the days following the Boston bombing."
Superintendent Evans was invited by the Minnesota Police Chiefs Foundation to discuss, in detail, strategies for stopping potential attacks on an event, as well as ways to coordinate an emergency response if one should occur.
"Most marathons will focus on the last half-mile with the finish line and the TV cameras," he said. "But you with 26.2 miles--you have to pay attention no matter where you are."
Most of what Evans told local law enforcement was not made public, but he does stress using undercover officers, bomb technicians, putting in place a communications plan between agencies, and training volunteers appropriately.
"We're hoping to train volunteers in Boston on the characteristics of someone who might be carrying a bomb," said Evans. "Spectators need to say something if they see something."
Officials with the Twin Cities marathon said Superintendent Evans' visit will help the entire Twin Cities with events. The marathon is next month and is expected to draw 300,000 spectators.
This year, the community is being asked to leave backpacks at home.
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