Peoria Police to boost security following Boston Marathon

Apr 16, 2013

  The Peoria Police Department is looking to boost security at public events following the Boston Marathon bombings. Peoria holds its first marathon next month and hosts multiple public gatherings and races throughout the year. Peoria Police Chief Steve Settingsgaard says the tragic events in Boston mean more awareness from local officers:

 “You may see more police presence at some of these, or more volunteers, more employees of the events,” Settingsgaard says.

 “I think whether it’s more people or not it’s the people there being a little bit more vigilant.  It might mean a little better search of a staging area before people gather, people who are there to assist being a little bit more cognizant of whose coming and going and suspicious activity.”

 Settingsgaard says police will now consider sweeping for bombs and other security measures before a public event.  He says officers used to only respond if there was a reported threat.  The Peoria Police Department Bomb Unit is also stepping-up how it responds to disarming different suspicious devices.  Settingsgaard says residents and business owners should also report suspicious behaviors or purchases to law enforcement.  Officials with the Illinois Marathon in Champaign-Urbana say they will also likely use a bomb-sniffing dog and evaluate other security measures ahead of their upcoming race.