Local agencies step up security in wake of Boston explosions

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In the Chicago area, police, transit agencies and emergency agencies were stepping up security in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, but a Chicago Police spokesman said in a statement that the agencys is “not aware of any threats facing Chicago.”

Police were making checks on buildings and sites considered possible high-priority targets. The city’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications was broadcasting over police-band radios a reminder to officers to follow proper procedures when investigating suspicious packages and suspicious purposes, and keep in mind the possibility that if one explosive device is found, another—or secondary—device may also be present.

Metra acknowledged that it was stepping up security, and cautioned riders they might see “an increased police presence” at downtown stations and on trains, according to a statement posted on its website. Metra, the CTA and other agencies were urging riders to notify officials if they see anything suspicious.

Indiana State Police sent out a message noting that those unable to reach family members believed to be in Boston for the marathon or other reasons may contact Boston officials at 617-635-4500. Only those unable to contact family are asked to use the number.

A Chicago Police spokesman and the city’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications issued statements regarding what the two agencies are doing.

The Police Department “and other first responders, like first responders in other major cities, are monitoring events closely and communicating with law enforcement officials as a precautionary measure,” said Police spokesman Adam Collins, in an emailed statement. “At this time, we are not aware of any threats facing Chicago.”

“We are closely monitoring events as they unfold in Boston and the City of Chicago’s public safety departments are actively communicating with our law enforcement partners both locally and throughout the country,” Melissa Stratton, spokeswoman for the OEMC, said in her statement. “At this time, we are not aware of any additional threats.”


-Chicago Tribune reporting

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