• Local organizers discuss future security measures for public events

    By: Frank Field


    SEATTLE - Organizers of large public events in Seattle said they'll apply any lessons learned about security in Boston, but they said not to expect big changes.

    The Northwest Folklife Festival will draw a quarter-million people to Seattle Center this Memorial Day weekend. A man was injured at least year's festival when two men argued and one fired a gun, hitting the bystander. But Executive Director Robert Townsend said the festival will be safe.

     "We have a process in place. We have steps we go through and we ratify those little steps every year," he said.

     Seafair organizers also said they are prepared. In a statement, Seafair said: "We work in close cooperation with law enforcement agencies from state to county to city. We have a dedicated person that directs these efforts and he has an extensive background in crisis and response planning and management."

     Townsend said the Folklife Festival will accommodate any changes to security that city officials want. Seattle police told us people should primarily expect to see more officers and bomb dogs around.  But Townsend doesn't think security will affect the atmosphere.

    "Security is in place. It will be prime. But it will not detract. It will not be even in evidence other than the occasional officer."

    People we met at Seattle Center said they won't be deterred from going to public events.

     Krista Rillo said, “I might be a little bit more aware of what's going on around me, but I don't think it's going to stop me from coming to the community events I love to participate in."

    Nancy Batayola added, "We have lives to live, we have kids to raise. We're going to let them experience the same things that we liked growing up."

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