In the wake of the deadly explosions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon earlier today, San Francisco’s mayor and police chief said they are not aware of any threats locally, but that authorities will be reviewing security plans for upcoming events that will draw large crowds the city.
The explosions, which occurred around 2:50 p.m. Boston time, left at least two people dead and dozens more injured.
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and police Chief Greg Suhr spoke to reporters this afternoon, saying security measures will be scrutinized for all big events in the coming months, including the Craigslist Bay to Breakers race next month.
“We’re looking at every single event that we have scheduled,” Lee said.
The mayor said his office has already been in contact with Bay to Breakers organizers and that additional steps may be taken before the May 19 race.
“We have time to figure some things out,” Lee said.
He added that details about the Boston explosions remain unclear and may affect what additional security measures are taken.
Lee noted that preliminary reports indicated the bombs may have been inside trashcans, and said, “we’re looking and are sensitive to that.”
Suhr said police and other city departments held a conference call after the bombing and that the Police Department’s command staff will be walking along Market Street later today to ensure public safety.
The police chief encouraged anyone who sees anything suspicious to alert authorities.
“Err on the side of caution,” Suhr said. “Better it be nothing and we dispense with it quickly than it be something that we don’t know about and somebody gets hurt.”
He said police aren’t the only source of security in a large event such as a race, which spans several miles in a city.
“If there’s going to be 50,000 people in the Bay to Breakers … that’s 50,000 sets of eyes and ears that listen and see, and if you see something, say something,” Suhr said.
A smaller race is scheduled for this weekend in Golden Gate Park, and organizers of that race, the Playworks San Francisco Run for Recess 5K, are also in communication with the city, Playworks executive director Ellen Goodman said.
Goodman said it is still too early to tell what security changes could be made until more information comes to light from Boston.
Another big event coming up in San Francisco is the America’s Cup, for which preliminary races begin in July.
In other major Bay Area cities, Oakland police said they plan to have a more visible presence at the Oakland A’s baseball and Golden State Warriors basketball games this evening, while San Jose police said there are no plans to modify their operations for the time being.
Dan McMenamin, Bay City News