Naperville police are changing security measures for major events this year in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings.
The department will schedule more officers, make better use of technology, improve communication with other agencies and plan for a variety of scenarios, Cmdr. Brian Cunningham said.
"We kind of stepped it up more after the Boston bombings like every agency to be more proactive on the intelligence side of things," Cunningham said.
Cunningham hesitates to call the strategies a plan because they are always evolving and tailored to each event. The city handles roughly 50 special events a year, including major attractions like Ribfest and Last Fling that draw thousands of visitors. It also will hold the inaugural Edward Hospital Naperville Marathon in November with 3,500 runners.
Cunningham said the department regularly reviews its security measures and started looking at them in January after some personnel changes. But the Boston bombings caused police to examine them again.
The department plans to make better use of technology both before and during events, Cunningham said. It also is increasing cooperation with the Naperville Fire Department as well as other local, state and federal agencies.
"If you don't lay the groundwork for that, it won't happen," Cunningham said. "That's why we're spending a lot of time reaching out."
Police will make sure not only that those agencies are aware of major events, but that there is a plan for communication and action if trouble arises, whether it be criminal activity or weather.
"We're putting ourselves in a situation where if it goes bad, how are we going to handle it?" Cunningham said.
During the events, the department also plans to use more plainclothes police officers as the budget allows and more video surveillance, a key component to quickly identifying suspects in Boston.
Police put some of their enhanced security strategies into play during the Athleta Esprit de She Triathlon this month and will have their next opportunity at the Naperville Exchange Club's Ribfest in July.
Julie Lichter, public relations and marketing chair for the upcoming festival, said Ribfest security is something organizers have never taken lightly and are again working closely with authorities.
"What we want is our patrons to really not even be concerned at all," she said. "Because we will do everything as we always have to make sure it's a secure event."