Security beefed up in Seattle, worldwide after Boston blasts

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by Associated Press and KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on April 15, 2013 at 5:32 PM

Updated Monday, Apr 15 at 7:25 PM

LOS ANGELES -- Police in Los Angeles, New York City, London and other cities worldwide stepped up security Monday following explosions at the Boston Marathon.

In Seattle, the police department announced they would be increasing patrols in neighborhoods around the city. Officers and members of the bomb squad were seen going through garbage cans and litter bins in populated, well-known landmarks such as the Space Needle and Westlake Center.

However, no information has indicated a threat in Seattle in connection with the events in Boston.

"From what I've heard, there's no reason for me to believe the Northwest is vulnerable at all from this particular incident," said King County Sheriff John Urquhart. "I think we're always vulnerable, it could happen anywhere. It just happened in Boston today."

The State Emergency Management Division released the following statement:

"There is no reason for us to take measures to increase our security posture. We continue to remain vigilant and monitor the situation."

Sea-Tac Airport officials say they have increased vigilance, but customers should not notice any increased security lines at the check points for TSA.

Los Angeles police Lt. Andrew Neiman said the department was urging officers to be extra vigilant around large crowds and would increase security at sporting events such as the Los Angeles Dodgers game Monday night.

The department was also activating its emergency operations center to increase communication and increasing patrols for transit and other critical areas, Los Angeles County Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore said.

Police in Washington, San Diego, Vegas and Atlanta were monitoring events closely and assessing potential increases in security measures. Agencies were also stepping up social media response, telling the public via Twitter and Facebook to report suspicious activity to the police.

Chief NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said Monday that critical response teams were deployed around the city, and officials were stepping up security at hotels and other prominent locations.

Police at three major Los Angeles area airports, including Los Angeles International Airport, were in a "heightened state of vigilance," with increased patrols to make it visible that more police were on duty Monday, said Chief of Airport Police Patrick Gannon.

"We have no indications that suggest there's a nexus from Boston to the Los Angeles airport, but in an overabundance of caution, we have heightened our patrols," Gannon said.

British police also said they were reviewing security plans for Sunday's London Marathon. It's the next major international marathon. A London Metropolitan Police spokesman said police are working with marathon officials to review security plans with an eye toward establishing a larger security presence.

On Monday, California emergency management officials activated their statewide threat assessment system, which was established following the Sept. 11, 2001 World Trade Center bombings.

Officials in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego and Sacramento were reviewing information from federal authorities for possible threats, said Kelly Huston, assistant secretary of the California Emergency Management System.

In Tennessee, the Nashville Predators will host the Vancouver Canucks on Monday night and hockey fans will see "more visible presence around the building," team spokesman Kevin Wilson said.

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