Learning from the Boston bombings

By Robert Arnold - Investigative Reporter

HOUSTON - Houston city officials said they are paying close attention to what investigators learn about the attack in Boston.

Determining how the attack was carried out and how the bomber was able to slip past security measures is information that will be applied to how our city safeguards upcoming public events.

We look at the intelligence that we have, what information we're dealing with and what's going on in the city, what's going on in the world and determine how that might impact us," said Dennis Storemski, head of the Mayor's Office of Public Safety and Security.

Storemski said this is the lens through which every public event is viewed when it comes to security.

"You try to put the event in the context of what's going on at that time," said Storemski. "This event is obviously going to make us more aware and more vigilant and it will help our first responders relate to what's going on."

However, Storemski said the attack in Boston is one Houston has long been concerned is a possibility.

"If we look at what's going on in the world in the events of terrorism, (Improvised Explosive Devices) are their preferred method of attack," said Storemski.

Storemski said the city specifically chose the scenario of multiple homemade bombs being detonated at a public event as one of three scenarios to train and prepare for when applying for a federal homeland security grant.

The other two scenarios are a category 5 hurricane and a pandemic flu outbreak.

Storemski said in light of the Boston attack security will be increased for all upcoming public events in our area, including the MS 150 bike ride and the International Festival.

However, the exact security measures being deployed are not publicly revealed. "If the bad guys see that you have certain things in place maybe they decide to go away and do something on another day," said Storemski.

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