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Heightened security, threat assessment activated following marathon bombing

Posted: April 15, 2013 7:42 p.m.
Updated: April 15, 2013 7:42 p.m.

SACRAMENTO — Los Angeles County law enforcement went on high alert Monday after the explosions at the Boston Marathon.

“The heightened alert of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department includes increased patrols to create a more visible presence where people congregate, such as government buildings, shopping centers, athletic events, and public transit,” Sheriff Lee Baca said in a statement.

“Partnering with local police and public safety agencies and other countywide efforts have been enhanced, including opening the Department Operations Center to maximize communication.”

The Metropolitan Transit Authority, which runs the Metrolink system also heightened alert.

Both agencies, as well as the California Highway Patrol, urged residents to be alert for suspicious activity and report it immediately if any is observed.

“We urge the public to report to law enforcement anything that appears out of the ordinary,” California Highway Patrol officials said in a statement.

Statewide, California safety officials activated a statewide threat assessment system Monday in response to the bombings, which killed at least three an injured more than 100.

Under the system, officials at threat assessment centers in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego and Sacramento review information from federal authorities involving possible local threats, said Kelly Huston, assistant secretary of the California Emergency Management System.

“At this point we don’t see a connection to California, but it’s pretty early,” Huston said, adding protection of California’s critical systems is a priority.

California officials were examining if there was “any shred of information coming out of Boston correlated to something we know about locally, trying to see if there’s any connections, and if there is a connection, who needs to know about it,” Huston said.

The emergency management system was established after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

“Officers on patrol are being asked to be extra vigilant around critical infrastructures around the city and areas where large crowds gather,” said CHP Officer Albie Esparza, a department spokesperson.

Airports in Los Angeles, Van Nuys and Ontario were in a heightened state of vigilance with increased patrols to show more police were on duty, said Chief of Airport Police Patrick Gannon.

The Los Angeles Dodgers declined to comment on heightened security measures at the ballpark, but Sheriff’s Department and police officials confirmed there would be increased security at the Monday night game against the San Diego Padres.




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