In light of the tragedy at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, Eugene Police will take extra precautionary measures for the upcoming Eugene Marathon on April 27 and 28, which is fewer than two weeks away.
“This will be (the) first public domestic type event, ironically a marathon, in the nation after the bombing,” said Paula Hunt, EPD information coordinator.
To prevent any possible organized attack attempts during the Eugene Marathon, police met Tuesday night to discuss enhanced security options in preparations for the marathon. Eugene Marathon coordinators went over options with local police. A bomb commander and the University of Oregon Police Department were in attendance. No decisions were made at the meeting.
“We plan for unpredictable, but we can’t predict the future,” said Melinda McLaughlin, EPD public information director. “That’s why the planning and training is very important so we can be flexible in how we respond.”
EPD is unable to release information regarding the details of the enhanced security proposals to prevent their compromise. The department will stay in contact with marathon coordinators up until the day of the event.
“We will be having ongoing meetings with the marathon coordinators,” McLaughlin said.
Marathon coordinators released statements showing respect to those affected by the tragic events in Boston. They also ensured participants the marathon will take place as scheduled and they are working with city and law enforcement officials to ensure the safety of participants and spectators.
“All emergency dispatch agencies are extremely supportive, professional and prepared to help in any way,” said Hunt.
EPD had held previous training in planning security for a large-scale event already with the U.S. Olympic Team Trials last summer, so there will be an extra level of preparedness after having that experience.
“The likelihood of something happening is slim, but obviously we don’t want to take any chances,” said Hunt.