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RETHINKING RELAYS: Considering More Security

No one is calling the Drake Relays a victim, but tragedy keeps stealing the wind from its blue sails.

First, there was Oscar Pistorius, who’d been billed as the event’s top attraction…

And now there’s Boston.

With the Relays just a week away, Relays director Brian Brown is stoically staying the course.

“We feel very confident that we continue to present an event that is safe, there is nothing more important than that.”

Brown says Drake’s security plans for the Grand Blue Mile and the Relays themselves haven’t changed.

“Every year there’s an emergency plan, every year there’s great coordination between all of the entities, not just Drake but certainly the city.”

But police say new security plans ARE in the works.

“Talks have begun already, today,” said Sgt. Jason Halifax, DMPD’s public information officer.

Des Moines police are looking at a numbers of security changes, even if Drake isn’t.

“Maybe try to identify some of the weaknesses and look at beefing up security,” Halifax said, “both around the races and around Drake.”

At this point, not enough is known about those behind the bombings in Boston, but should that information come out before next week, plans here might change.

“If by that time we have a specified threat,” said Halifax, “a specified person, perhaps group, then we can look at whether we have a threat associated with that in the area, or a presence.”

For over 100 years—through everything from weather to wars–the Relays have perservered.  At this point, there is no reason to believe that that will change in 2013.

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