Bloomsday Security: Changes Will Be Made In Wake Of Boston Attac - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Bloomsday Security: Changes Will Be Made In Wake Of Boston Attack

Posted: Updated:

SPOKANE, Wash – Nearly 50,000 people will cross the finish line in the 37th annual Lilac Bloomsday Run on Sunday, May 5th – and this year more than ever, in the wake of the attack in Boston, security issues are taking center stage.

"We're really heartbroken to see that happen at an event that's all about health and fitness," Bloomsday Founder & Race Director Don Kardong told KHQ.  "Anytime there's an incident we like to review our procedures to make sure we're doing everything we can and if we need to we'll make changes."

Kardong has a good partner; head of race security Al Odenthal graduated from the FBI National Academy and spent 26 with Spokane Police before retiring as Assistant Chief.  He's been helping with security for Bloomsday for nearly two decades.

"We've learned a lot in our 36 years [of running Bloomsday], and it's a changing world," Odenthal told KHQ.

With questions still lingering as to why Boston was attacked, he has to think about whether Spokane could be – and how just a few years ago, it almost was.

"The FBI was a big help in the MLK Day explosive device and getting things cranked up before Bloomsday of that year," he added.

Odenthal is working with Spokane Police – and federal partners – to make sure security plans are appropriate.  The FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force is keeping watch over any threats or possible risks, Homeland Security and the TSA will be involved at the airport as thousand of people – and their luggage – fly into Spokane, and the ATF will be involved in helping protect against explosives.  He says there will be changes to the race this year, although you may never see them.

"We have incorporated the prospect of a few security changes that are pretty much going to be invisible to participants and spectators," Odenthal said.

In years past, changes have already been made to the course – including a section of the race where an ambulance couldn't make it in.  Now, every year a medical helicopter is stationed there in case people need to be flown out of the area for emergency care.

Odenthal told KHQ his two little grandkids will be at Bloomsday, and he doesn't have any reservations about their safety, which says a lot about yours.

Still, he asks that anyone near the event on May 5th keep a particularly watchful eye.

"When we put 55, 60 thousand people together in one place, that becomes a target for someone who wants to do a lot of damage," he added.  "So if it doesn't belong there, if it calls your attention, if you see something, say something."

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • BEAUTIFUL HOMES: Top 10 Most Expensive Homes For Sale In CDA

    BEAUTIFUL HOMES: Top 10 Most Expensive Homes For Sale In CDA

    Tuesday, March 25 2014 9:20 AM EDT2014-03-25 13:20:34 GMT
    KHQ.COM - When it comes to shopping around for a house, it's always fun to dream. We did a search for some of the most expensive homes for sale right now in the Coeur d' Alene area.>>
    KHQ.COM - When it comes to shopping around for a house, it's always fun to dream. We did a search for some of the most expensive homes for sale right now in the Coeur d' Alene area.>>
  • WATCH: Cell Phone Video Of Sinking Ferry Released As 270 Are Still Missing

    WATCH: Cell Phone Video Of Sinking Ferry Released As 270 Are Still Missing

    Friday, April 18 2014 4:21 PM EDT2014-04-18 20:21:35 GMT
    MOKPO, South Korea (AP) - Searchers have now put markers on the surface of the water where the South Korean ferry went down. Part of the ship had remained above the surface until today, but now the entire vessel is submerged. They're continuing the effort to find some 270 people who are missing and feared dead.>>
    MOKPO, South Korea (AP) - Searchers have now put markers on the surface of the water where the South Korean ferry went down. Part of the ship had remained above the surface until today, but now the entire vessel is submerged. They're continuing the effort to find some 270 people who are missing and feared dead.
    >>
  • Man Identified In Fatal Crash Friday Morning On Bowdish Rd.

    Man Identified In Fatal Crash Friday Morning On Bowdish Rd.

    Friday, April 18 2014 4:13 PM EDT2014-04-18 20:13:11 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - The man killed in an early morning crash on Friday has been identified as 34-year-old, Alejandro E. Apodaca. Just before 12:30, Apodaca crashed his car on S. Bowdish Rd. He was traveling South on Bowdish near 17th when he lost control of his car, uprooting a tree in the front yard of a home.
    >>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - The man killed in an early morning crash on Friday has been identified as 34-year-old, Alejandro E. Apodaca. Just before 12:30, Apodaca crashed his car on S. Bowdish Rd. He was traveling South on Bowdish near 17th when he lost control of his car, uprooting a tree in the front yard of a home.
    >>
  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • 3rd Person Arrested In McDonald's Robbery

    3rd Person Arrested In McDonald's Robbery

    Saturday, April 19 2014 10:56 AM EDT2014-04-19 14:56:28 GMT
    UPDATE: Two suspects have been arrested in connection to the robbery that occurred Thursday evening at the McDonald's at 2200 W. Wellesley Ave. Major Crimes Detectives are also investigating the possibility these suspects are connected to other robbery incidents.>>
    UPDATE: Two suspects have been arrested in connection to the robbery that occurred Thursday evening at the McDonald's at 2200 W. Wellesley Ave. Major Crimes Detectives are also investigating the possibility these suspects are connected to other robbery incidents.
    >>
  • Judge Rules Taxpayers Won't Pay For Sex Offender Treatment

    Judge Rules Taxpayers Won't Pay For Sex Offender Treatment

    Saturday, April 19 2014 2:36 AM EDT2014-04-19 06:36:00 GMT
    TACOMA, Wash. (AP) - A judge has rejected Steven Powell's request to have taxpayers pay for his court-ordered sex offender treatment after a voyeurism conviction.Pierce County Superior Court Judge Ronald Culpepper agreed Friday with the state attorney general's office that Powell cited the wrong statute when he made his request.>>
    TACOMA, Wash. (AP) - A judge has rejected Steven Powell's request to have taxpayers pay for his court-ordered sex offender treatment after a voyeurism conviction.Pierce County Superior Court Judge Ronald Culpepper agreed Friday with the state attorney general's office that Powell cited the wrong statute when he made his request.>>
  • North Idaho Poachers Taking Heavy Toll On Game

    North Idaho Poachers Taking Heavy Toll On Game

    Saturday, April 19 2014 2:09 AM EDT2014-04-19 06:09:06 GMT
    LEWISTON, Idaho — Poachers are likely killing far more game animals than wolves are, state wildlife officials in North Idaho say. Officials tell the Lewiston Tribune in a story on Friday that last year in North Idaho they confirmed poaching of 30 elk, four moose, 13 mule deer and 57 whitetail deer.
    >>
    LEWISTON, Idaho — Poachers are likely killing far more game animals than wolves are, state wildlife officials in North Idaho say. Officials say last year in North Idaho they confirmed poaching of 30 elk, four moose, 13 mule deer and 57 whitetail deer.

    >>