A big entertainment weekend in Atlanta kicked off Thursday night with the Taylor Swift concert at Philips Arena, and with it comes concerns about security in the aftermath of the Boston bombings.
Weekend events include the Dogwood Festival at Piedmont Park and the Sweetwater 420 Fest at Candler Park.
Atlanta Police Chief George Turner told WSB’s Pete Combs his officers have had to rethink security in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings.
“We’ve increased the number of officers working those areas both off duty and on duty. Also, we’re increasing the number of sweeps that we do with our K-9 dogs to make sure people are secure in those areas,” Chief Turner explained.
Police will also beef up monitoring of the city’s ever-expanding video network. Right now, that network includes about 1,200 surveillance cameras. Within three years, Turner hopes it will include as many as 20,000.
Has there been an increase in the number of suspicious package and suspicious person reports since the Boston bombings?
“We feel like we’ve had an uptick,” Turner said, noting that he, along with the local head of the FBI, the director of the GBI and other top law enforcement brass rushed to the scene of what was initially described as an explosion and fire at a store on Memorial Dr. Tuesday.
It turned out to be the accidental ignition of a firework, police said. One person was hurt. Turner blamed the high-level response on jitters resulting from the Boston blasts.
Still, “There are no credible threats in the Atlanta metro area,” Turner said, explaining that he is in constant touch with Homeland Security officials and other federal intelligence sources.