Heightened Alert Across S. Florida In Wake Of Bombings
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MIAMI (CBS4) – In the wake of the bombings at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday, law enforcement across South Florida has increased their ‘state of awareness’.
Fort Lauderdale police said security will be tight for this weekend’s Lauderdale Air Show.
Law enforcement in Miami said they are looking at possibly redrawing security plans for next week’s Mercedes-Benz Corporate Run. Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado said he has confidence in the city’s police department.
“We cannot be defeated by fear. The residents of Miami should know that the Miami Police Department is a first class police department, we have units of intelligence that work very closely with the federal government, the FBI and other agencies,” said Regalado.
Regalado said he’s spoken to Miami Police Chief Manuel Orosa about security for the upcoming run and Miami Heat home games.
“The chief has committed more officers in terms of places with more people, more visibility, we can just hope that nothing happens,” said Regalado.
The mayor said for the first time the police department’s bomb squad will be at the marathon as will K9 officers. Race runners and fans will be asked to leave bags behind. Water and towels will be provided.
Regalado added that while he can’t say that what happened in Boston couldn’t happen here – if it did, they would be ready.
At Marlins Park Tuesday night, baseball fans said they noticed extra officers patrolling the area in and around the ballpark.
“We saw cops just driving around with their lights on,” said Jackie Senna.
Bruno Moxey added, ”They’re driving around walking around it’s a little bit extra security.”
Marlins fans told us they feel safe despite what happened in Boston, but can’t help but think about the “what ifs”.
“You worry about it and you wonder well what if it happens down here in Miami,” said Moxey, but he said he won’t let that thought keep him home.
“All you can do is try to keep your mind focused and just pray, about it,” said Moxey, ”Don’t worry what can happen tomorrow just live for today.”
In a statement issued Monday afternoon, the Broward Sheriff’s Office said “Though locally we are not operating under a heightened alert, we have increased visibility in key sensitive areas of the county, such as the airport and seaport.”
“Right now there is no reason to think that there’s any threat to South Florida different than any other day. But we are taking this very seriously,” said Broward Sheriff Scott Israel.
The spokesperson at the Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport said they are no extra deputies or extra screenings but there is a heightened awareness and plenty going on behind the scenes that the public won’t see.
Israel said on Monday that while law enforcement is on heightened alert, the public should be too.
“We’re asking the public, especially on days like today, if you hear something, to partner with us. If you see something, call us and let us know what’s happening,” said Israel.
Law enforcement here in South Florida trains throughout the year for the types of scenarios that unfolded in Boston.