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    Local event organizers eye security after Boston blasts

    6:03 PM, Apr 16, 2013   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- The explosions that rocked Boston on Monday during the middle of the city's famous marathon were a reminder of just how quick things can change.

    The blasts also have organizers of other events on-edge and reviewing security measures to make sure it doesn't happen at their affair.

    Security measures for major events will now take on new importance in Little Rock and across the state.

    Big races like the Little Rock Marathon and the state's largest festival Riverfest are on alert. Organizers say they're monitoring what happened in Boston with an eye on their own security plans.

    The Executive Director of Riverfest Deanna Korte says they're working to make sure plans are in place to keep people safe and react if the unthinkable happens.

    "Every year we review our security procedures to make sure we're doing the best job possible. Obviously, in light of what's happened we'll be doing so again."

    Korte says every bag entering Riverfest is searched and a 5 block security perimeter surrounds the event.

    "Fortunately, we have a great track record. Unfortunately, something could happen anywhere at any time. Like I said, it's our number one priority and our goal is to make sure this is a safe fun event and that everyone is having a great time and is safe while they're here."

    Little Rock Marathon race director, Gina Pharis says they're also monitoring what happened in Boston with an eye on their own security plans for next year.

    "We have an incredible secure finish line with LRPD, with private security. That is well done. I think we may amp it up just a little if we need to just to make the public more comfortable. It definitely helps with that. Outside of our finish line, we cannot control."

    The Little Rock Marathon is a qualifier for the Boston Marathon and Pharis says this tragedy will only bring more runners to the sport.

    "Marathoners are marathoners, they are resilient and nothing will keep them down. They will get out and run harder and they will prove themselves even more because of this tragedy."

    The challenge, Korte says they face is looking for gaps of weakness or any way to improve.

    "You have to worry about these things. You try to be forward thinking and you have to be on it prior to anything happening."

    Riverfest organizers say they will have more undercover security on hand at next month's festival.

    For more on the Boston bombings, visit THV 11's special coverage page.

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