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Federal, local officials reassure safety of Hampton Roads in wake of Boston bombings

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Posted at 6:48 PM, Apr 16, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-16 18:49:50-04

Federal and local authorities are reassuring Hampton Roads residents following Monday’s tragedy at the Boston marathon.

“There are currently no known threat streams reported that impact the Hampton Roads community,” says FBI Special Agent Royce Curtin.

He says the FBI in Norfolk has not changed the way they do business but are on standby, ready to provide resources and assistance to those in Boston.

Special Agent Curtin also explains they have ongoing conversations with other agencies at the federal and local levels about how to best protect the community, especially when it comes to big events scheduled.

“The FBI partnership with our federal, state, local, tribal and military partners will continue to provide an active presence working side by side with community servants that we have to provide assistance as necessary for each specific event,” he says.

Norfolk Police say they have history on their side for annual events like Harborfest at Towne Point Park.

“We have incident plans that we draw several weeks, if not months in advance and are continually reviewing,” says Chris Amos with Norfolk PD.

He explains that his department discusses what has and hasn’t worked in past years, making sure improvements are always made.

He says when it comes to the festival area itself, they have tremendous control over what’s going on.

“We’re checking bags, we’re checking coolers, we’re checking backpacks,” he says.

Karen Sherberger is the executive director with Festevents, which hosts the festival each year. She says they’ve always followed guidelines put out by Homeland Security detailing measures outdoor venues should take.

“Festevents have followed very stringent security guidelines since we started, as far back as 1976,” Sherberger says.

As the investigation in Boston continues and as security measures at bigger events are closely looked at, Sherberger says they do reevaluate their security practices.

“We certainly do take a close look at everything we’re doing. There may be some intelligence, there may be some info that comes out of this,” she says.