Safety Officials in Dover Looking at Major Outdoor Events - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Safety Officials in Dover Looking at Major Outdoor Events

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(Photo: WBOC) (Photo: WBOC)

DOVER, Del.- Delaware is no stranger to large, outdoor events. In the coming months, Dover will host NASCAR race weekends and the Firefly Music Festival. The events bring in tens of thousands of people.

If any changes need to be implemented to promote safety in the wake of the Boston Marathon explosions, they must happen quickly. The first race weekend is less than two months away.

The Dover Police Department is the main agency securing events at Dover International Speedway.

"It's a 24-hour operation when those events come to town," said Police Chief Jim Hosfelt."The challenge is safety and security for those people who are here."

Chief Hosfelt said he has about 80 officers working the events, in addition to teams from agencies like the FBI, ATF and Delaware State Police.

"We have officers walking around, on motor vehicles, motorcycles, bicycles," he explained.

Safety leaders at Dover International say they have considered possibilities like this for years and at this point, they are not sure the tragedy in Boston will lead to any changes in their procedures.    

"Mass-gathering events and places of public assembly," said Ed Klima, Director of Emergency Services and Loss Control for the Speedway."Have to be prepared to do everything possible, in conjunction with our public safety partners, to prevent that type of thing from occurring. And if it should occur, we have to be prepared to respond to it."

State Safety and Homeland Security Sect. Lewis Schiliro says Delaware will study what happened in Boston. But 24 hours out, knowing exactly what the takeaways will be is tough.

"Right now, it's really too early to be able to make those kinds of speculation," Schiliro said. "What I can tell you is if there are things that need to be changed or focused a little differently, then that will be the case."

"It's something we can learn from," Hosfelt said. "And my concern as a chief is I think these incidents are here to stay. I don't see them stopping any time soon. And that's the unfortunate."

Schiliro stressed how important the public is in helping prevent tragedies, pointing to the old phrase, "See something, say something."

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