Boston Bombings Prompt Local Emergency Response Planning
Since the moment of the Boston marathon bombings, Columbus leaders have been working to make sure a plan is in place in the event of a mass shutdown of the city.
Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman told 10TV he immediately thought back to 9/11, when dealing with such a large-scale emergency response.
Coleman said cooperation between local, state and federal agencies is better than ever to get the job done.
“We take this seriously. What's going on in Boston is something… you know we want to make sure our residents are safe,” said Coleman.
The mayor met with Columbus police, fire, and public safety officials to make sure everyone is ready, in case of an emergency.
“What could happen in Boston could happen in any American city, including Columbus,” said Coleman.
With large-scale races coming up in Columbus, where tens of thousands of people pack the streets, Mayor Coleman called for greater visibility of bomb sniffing dogs and mobile police towers to scan from above. He also asked people to be proactive.
“I worry about these things and we plan for it, and I hope it never happens,” said Coleman.
In case something does happen, local agencies like the Columbus SWAT team said they have the equipment, such as a new armored vehicle to handle any situation.
Back in 2009, Columbus Police shut down a large area near 4th Avenue and Summit Street, after a man with an AK-47 was firing at anyone and anything in sight.
“We did shut down quite a few blocks there, I guess the difference between that scenario and what's going on in Boston is we knew where our suspect was,” said Columbus Police Commander Michael Woods. “We constantly plan and we constantly train.”
While the search continues in Boston, Columbus leaders said they are learning from what is happening and are ready to react, if need be.
“Hopefully we'll never have to exercise any of this. That's our hope, but we always need to be prepared,” said Coleman.
Mayor Coleman said all local agencies are working together to make sure everyone is safe for the upcoming large races, and other public events, in the next weeks and months ahead.
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