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Maine Law Enforcement Agencies Respond to Marathon Blasts
04/16/2013   Reported By: Samantha Fields

New York, Los Angeles and other major cities have stepped up security and police presence in the aftermath of yesterday's Boston Marathon bombing. Samantha Fields has this update on the police response here in Maine.

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Maine State Police Chief Robert Williams says one of the department's top priorities has been monitoring information and intelligence, both from law enforcement and from media and social media outlets. All that is being done at the Maine Information and Analysis Center, or MIAC.

"One reason is, if we're able to provide information to them that's of any assistance, or secondly, what they're doing is they're checking to see if there's any nexus between what happened there and Maine," he says. "So that if we need to change any of our procedures, we'll change them based on a true threat and information, as opposed to just rhetoric."

At this point, Williams says there is no indication of any connection between Maine and the bombing in Boston. He says authorities are reviewing security measures for major upcoming events, such as the Beach to Beacon Road Race in Cape Elizabeth, and the Old Port Festival in Portland, to see if any additional action should be taken.

He says the details and lessons that emerge from the attack on the Boston Marathon - or "after actions" as he calls them - could inform future security policies in Maine.

"And I just use this as an example - I don't know if it's the case or not, there's been some talk about it - if they do an after action and they determine that there shouldn't be trash receptacles along a road race route, then we would look at upcoming road races and say, 'This one here's got 1,000 or 2,000 people at it. Whoever's responsible as the lead for that needs to make sure they don't have trash receptacles, because trash receptacles now become a threat.'"

But until more concrete information is available about what exactly happened in Boston, Maine police are trying to take a measured approach -something Williams says he expects other law enforcement agencies are doing across the state and around the country.

"I think the hard reality is, you're better off to, in this case where there's no immediate threat, to make deliberate changes instead of just jumping and making changes for the sake of making changes, that sometimes in and of themselves will create more terror than you're trying to prevent," Williams says.

In Maine's largest city, Portland police say they're taking a pro-active stance and giving "special attention" to critical infrastructure, including transportation hubs.


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