Tampa Police respond to Boston bombings - WFLA News Channel 8

Tampa Police respond to Boston bombings

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The City of Tampa is no stranger to hosting high profile events.  The Republican National Convention in August of 2012, and the 2009 Super Bowl were both national security special events. That has Tampa police watching closely as events unfolded in Boston Monday.

"Nothing is benign anymore, after 9/11," said Assistant Tampa Police Chief of Operations John Bennett.

Bennett said he had seen the video of the bombs exploding in Boston, and several thoughts went through his mind.  "Everything that has a lot of people coming to it, crowds gathering, you're going to have to take the precautions and preparedness," he said.

Bennett compared the Boston marathon to Tampa's Gasparilla parades and running events. They are similar, outdoor, open-air events that attract tens of thousands of people.

Bennett said one of the big challenges facing Boston police would have been getting the crowds evacuated in an organized and orderly way.  He also stressed communication between different law enforcement agencies is key.

Boston's police commissioner said the first phone calls he made after hearing about the explosions were to the FBI and the Massachusetts State Police.

Bennett said he expects law enforcement to make changes to event security in light of this most recent attack.

"Sadly, every time there's an incident, public safety officials at a local, state and federal level, pull back, have a virtual huddle, if you will," Bennett said. "Of how we can do things better and stronger, but yet still keep the freedoms in this country."

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