Security for local events evaluated after Boston bombing - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Security for local events evaluated after Boston bombing

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)- In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing Monday, local police are re-evaluating their security measures when it comes to local events.

Chief Michael Yates with the Jonesboro Police Department said although they usually don't see crowds that big he feels the local police are prepared.

"From a practical standpoint, with large events it's really impossible to completely sterilize large areas," Yates said. "And nobody not even the federal government really has the resources to makes something like a marathon 26 miles long absolutely safe."

It's the day after the bombings at the Boston Marathon that left 3 dead and over 170 people injured. The bombs went off during the finish line of a 26 mile race.  Yates said the big crowds usually show up to sporting events.

"Locally we do some things with our athletic events and things like that but it's a little more controlled environment," he said. 

Yates said although it is difficult to do, there are ways to make a location more secure.  

"To make a location absolutely sterile, you have to do the initial sweep and then you have to control and maintain anybody that enters back into that area," Yates said.

He said he feels the local police have undergone the necessary training when it comes to any type of attacks or emergencies.

"We have done significant anti-terrorism training and incident command training," he said.

"What we try to do is put our efforts in on the front end so we know what to do and how to respond when we do have incidents of that nature."

Yates is no stranger to horrific public acts of violence. He was among the law enforcement in Atlanta during the 1996 Olympic Games when a bomb went off killing one and injuring over a hundred.  

"What I recall is trying to get over the initial shock of it and from a law enforcement perspective, try to figure out what to do, and what to do next," Yates said. 

He said terrorists attacks like on Monday are not always meant to kill large numbers.  

"You just have to consider when you have act of terrorism, the goal not necessarily always to see, to kill the most people that you can but to instill that fear and to disrupt people's lives," he said.

He said all anyone can do is continue to live their lives.

"If you see something suspicious or of concern , report it and live your life and don't let it get to you," Yates said.

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