Security in check for Garmin Marathon; for all county events

Olathean Tom Kearney was impressed with the security measures in place for the Boston Marathon this past Monday, April 15. He praised their efforts even after two bombs exploded just below the restaurant overlooking the finishing line where he and his family, including his two young grandchildren, had just settled in to eat lunch.

Yet even with all that security, someone was able to sneak in not two, but four homemade bombs. Two that didn’t detonate were found underneath the grandstands.

This weekend, more than 3,000 runners plus countless other spectators are expected to take part in Saturday morning’s (April 20) Garmin Marathon that will wind its way just more than 26 miles in and around Olathe.

No doubt the tragic events of the Boston’s Marathon that killed three and injured more than 140 others, will be on the minds of runners, spectators and race officials.

It also will be on the minds of members of the Olathe Police Department, Johnson County Sheriff’s deputies, and EMS personnel with Johnson County Med-Act. In fact, no matter the event, security and the safety of participants and the public always is in the forefront for these folks.

Security for Saturday’s marathon falls within the jurisdiction of the Olathe Police Department, and Sgt. Bryan Hill, the department’s public information officer, said every precaution is taken to insure the safety of the event.

“With the marathon, we take a lot of time and a lot of planning,” Hill said. “We work closely with fire, EMS, public works and event organizers to make sure the event is not only safe for the runners, but certainly safe for the public as well. We have an in-depth action plan in place and as the event grows closer and closer, we continue to review that and make sure it’s current and that we’re taking the appropriate steps to make the event safe.”

He said it’s the same procedure for any event whether it’s the Garmin Marathon or the Johnson County Old Settlers Celebration.

“There’s nothing more important than public safety,” he said. “We take a lot of care in planning. We want everybody to come out, have a good time and feel safe. I think our in-depth action plan is always at the forefront whenever we have a big event like this and we are continually reviewing all the steps we have in place.

“And with any event like this, we ask that if somebody sees something that is suspicious that they report it to an event volunteer or a uniformed officer. If they see anything, please tell us.”

Wit every event, no matter where it is in Johnson County, there is a master plan in place that falls under the Johnson County Emergency Management that includes all law enforcement agencies, fire, EMS, and local and metropolitan hospitals, said Johnson County Sheriff’s Master Deputy and PIO Tom Erickson.

“We work really closely with our emergency management and other police departments,” he said. “We’ve had extensive conversations and planning for all types of events and incidents that could happen. and re-evaluation is very important and ongoing. Anytime we have something major like (the Boston Marathon) happen, then we always take another look at what we’re doing, how are we doing it, and talk about how we can do better.

“You’re always finding somewhere in your plan that you could maybe do something a little better or something you need to think through a little further. We’ve done so much of that, we’re pretty confident that we have in place the things that need to be in place, but it’s always worth looking at it again. It’s better to be safe than sorry.”

Erickson said the Mid-America Regional Council, the Regional Homeland Security Coordinating Committee as well as several other committees that deal with security and safety, the Regional Coordination Guide is being reviewed and updated. That sets out the protocol guidelines in the event of an emergency such as took place in Boston.

“We’re always planning for any kind of incidents,” Erickson said. “We continue to plan, we continue to exercise, continue to re-look at our plan and procedures to make sure we’re staying on top of the latest, best ways to handle situations.”

Ever wonder how it’s determined what patients are transferred to which hospitals during an emergency? Click here to find out how it’s done in Johnson County.

3 Responses

  1. […] Security in check for Garmin Marathon; for all county events […]

  2. […] Security in check for Garmin Marathon; for all county events […]

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