Harford County Executive David Craig and Sheriff Jesse Bane each issued statements of support Tuesday following the bombing of the Boston Marathon a day earlier, and detailed measures taken to ensure the safety of the local community.
Meanwhile, several of the Harford County residents who participated in the marathon were safe and back in Maryland or on their way home.
Mike Feinberg, 49, of Bel Air ran the marathon for a 12th time Monday, finishing in 3:27:02. He traveled to Boston with several members of the Renaissance All Sports Athletic Club, a Bel Air-based running group, including Jeffrey Damiano, 34; Kevin Hennessey, 40, and David Stevenson, 37. All four men were back home Tuesday evening, he said.
Also safe and on her way to Maryland Tuesday afternoon was Erin Schisler, 29, of Bel Air, an employee of Harford County Public Schools who completed the race in 3:57:15. HCPS spokeswoman Teri Kranefeld said the school system contacted Schisler, who was unharmed.
Feinberg said he finished the race just before 1:30 p.m., and had returned to his hotel room at the Howard Johnson near Fenway Park when the bombs went off. The attacks marred what he said had been another enjoyable experience at the marathon, where his group connected with runners from around the world hoping to complete one of the sport’s great conquests.
“It’s something runners aspire to because you have to qualify,” Feinberg said. “There was a quarter of the field who didn’t get to finish. It’s special when you turn onto Boyston Street [the race’s final stretch], with the crowds there, and that was taken from them.”
On the Amtrak ride back to Maryland, Feinberg said his teammates and other runners present all planned to return to Boston for another marathon.
“The people I talked to on the train that were up there, were more committed than ever to run it,” he said. “There’s the old saying about, you can’t outrun a marathon runner. We’re a committed group.”
From the Harford County Sheriff’s Office:
[April 16, 2013, Harford County, MD] — Harford County Public Safety officials, to include Law Enforcement, Emergency Management, the State Fire Marshal’s Office, and County government met earlier today and are working proactively in partnership to ensure the safety of all Harford County residents.
During an intelligence brief with County Executive David Craig, Sheriff Jesse Bane emphasized that while there are no credible threats directed at Harford County, he strongly suggests the County and County residents should be at a heightened awareness.
“Our Intelligence Unit has been in contact with the Maryland Coordination and Analysis Center (MCAC), also known as Maryland’s Law Enforcement Fusion Center,” the Sheriff said, “and they do not have any threats relative to the Boston bombing or any other intelligence to suggest Harford County is at risk”. Adding, “but that doesn’t mean we should let our guard down. The incident in Boston should strongly serve to raise our awareness and sensitivity to suspicious circumstances but it doesn’t mean we are under imminent threat”.
Bane explained that immediately after the bombing in Boston, the Sheriff’s Office Criminal Intelligence and Homeland Security Units began coordinating with the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF). He further explained an added advantage for the Sheriff’s Office is that we have a deputy physically assigned to Maryland’s JTTF, noting therefore that our intelligence is in real time. “While we are clearly concerned about the incident in Boston and need as much intelligence as we can get, the reality is we need to identify any threat to the county and so far there is none”, he stated.
Bane wanted to make clear that while law enforcement agencies throughout the Country work extremely hard to prevent these types of incidents the reality is it can happen – and happen anywhere. The key he explained to mitigating such an event in Harford County is building resiliency within your community by proactive planning, preparedness and developing lines of effective communication with State and Federal Law Enforcement, Intelligence Organizations, elected officials, and the public.
Bane highlighted his point and noted, “Police and fire departments train extensively, participate in tabletop and full scale exercises, develop and coordinate plans with Emergency Management, and share information with, not only, allied law enforcement but County Government and the public”.
Bane said, the public needs to know that Harford County Law Enforcement is prepared and is asking everyone to be vigilant. “You will see increased police patrols at key critical infrastructure and increased police presence at public venues”, he said, adding that security procedures may cause traffic and pedestrian delays. He suggested ways for the public to be involved include if you “See Something…Say Something”. Report all suspicious activity to police, or call the statewide tip line at 1-800-492-TIPS. This phone line is staffed 24 hours a day by a live person. Be cognizant of your surroundings at all times and have an awareness of people who may be acting suspicious and do not hesitate to report their actions to law enforcement and/or security officials. “Our vigilance only works if everyone is working toward the same public safety goal”, Bane concluded.
Commenting on the Homeland Security briefing, County Executive David R. Craig said, “I appreciate the efforts of Sheriff Bane, our local law enforcement officers, Maryland State Police, State Fire Marshal and others who are working around the clock in gathering the latest and most accurate intelligence information regarding the events in Boston. Although there are no apparent credible threats directed at our community, our law enforcement officials are closely monitoring events and are prepared to take appropriate actions to mitigate any such acts”, County Executive Craig added.
From Harford County Executive David Craig:
(Bel Air, MD) – – Harford County Executive David R. Craig issued the following statement in response to the bombing incident Monday, April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts.
“Our thoughts and prayers are extended to the people of Boston and Mayor Thomas Menino following the horrific and unconscionable bombings yesterday in that great city. We especially offer our prayers to the families of the victims that were killed and injured as a result of the two bombings.
Locally, Harford County’s Department of Emergency Services, the Harford County Sheriff’s Office and our municipal, state and federal law enforcement partners are working cooperatively to ensure public safety in this great county. We urge citizens to report to officials any suspicious circumstances they may be aware of and remain vigilant at all times.
The people of Boston exemplify the principles of integrity, perseverance; honor and courage that helped make America the land of the free and home of the brave. As Americans who cherish our freedom and heritage, we stand by our brothers and sisters in Boston and ask God to bless them during this difficult time.”