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State activates threat review system

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POSTED April 15, 2013 8:43 p.m.



 

SACRAMENTO  (AP) — California safety officials on Monday activated a statewide threat assessment system in response to explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

Under the system, officials at threat assessment centers in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego and Sacramento review information from federal authorities involving possible local threats, said Kelly Huston, assistant secretary of the California Emergency Management System.

"At this point we don't see a connection to California, but it's pretty early," Huston said, adding protection of California's critical systems is a priority.

California officials were examining if there was "any shred of information coming out of Boston correlated to something we know about locally, trying to see if there's any connections, and if there is a connection, who needs to know about it," Huston said.

The emergency management system was established after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

In Sacramento, California Highway Patrol Officer Sean Kennedy, who heads security at the state Capitol, declined to comment on whether security was being increased, noting there are measures in place.

The San Francisco Police Department is on heightened alert and will be rethinking security logistics for the upcoming San Francisco Marathon and Bay to Breakers foot races.

"Officers on patrol are being asked to be extra vigilant around critical infrastructures around the city and areas where large crowds gather," said Officer Albie Esparza, a department spokesperson.

Airports in Los Angeles, Van Nuys and Ontario were in a heightened state of vigilance with increased patrols to show more police were on duty, said Chief of Airport Police Patrick Gannon.

The Los Angeles Dodgers declined to comment on heightened security measures at the ballpark, but Sheriff's Department and police officials confirmed they will have increased security at the game. The Dodgers play the San Diego Padres at the stadium on Monday night.

Orange County Sandra Hutchens said deputies will have an increased presence at sporting and entertainment venues, and other large gathering places.

In San Diego, law enforcement agencies were monitoring developments closely but haven't taken any special measures, authorities said.

"Obviously everyone is aware of it," said San Diego County sheriff's Lt. Scott Amos.

 

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