Drake Relays Amp Up Security - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Drake Relays Amp Up Security

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Addie Olson

aolson@myabc5.com

@addieolson

After the Boston bombings last week, organizers are making major changes at the Drake Relays.

Visitors like Luke Arrowood from Algona are taking notice.

"Walking up we saw the bomb squad truck and we just thought that was pretty intense," Arrowood said.

In addition to the bomb squad and bomb sniffing dogs, visitors can expect to see a huge increase in the number of police. They're out on bikes, motorcycles, in patrol cars and on foot.

It's all in an effort to beef up security after the Boston bombings. 

"No venue, no city, no event is immune from what happened there," said Sgt. Jason Halifax of the Des Moines P.D. "But by and large, Des Moines is pretty low risk for that type of activity."

Runners and spectators seem to feel the same way. They're confident that the extra measures will keep them safe in the stands and on the track.

"With the relays hyped up, everybody coming in, I think the police and the bomb squads will do what they need to and there won't be any problems here," said spectator and Cedar Rapids Kennedy student Anthony Crawley.

"With everything they're adding, like the dogs and the police officers everywhere, and checking bags - I feel pretty safe here," Arrowood said.

They also placed security cameras through out the stadium. The Des Moines Fire Department won't be out in added force, but they're ready should anything happen.

"We're going to run things like we normally do, in the event of an emergency, we'll just do what we do," said Capt. Steve Brown of the Des Moines Fire Department.

Even post-Boston and among all the extra safety, Crawley believes it won't put a damper on the event.

"I actually think it will have more of a positive tone than normal because we have all these athletes that heard about the Boston bombings and maybe that might excel their level to compete," Crawley said.

Police say that they have not received any threats at this time.

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