Bay Area on Heightened Alert Following Boston Blasts

Acting governor says there is no indication of threat to California

City and state leaders around the Bay Area and across the state, along with their police chief and security counterparts were quick to react to Monday's explosions in Boston that killed two and injured dozens more.

Many areas were put on heightened alert.

California safety officials on Monday activated a statewide threat assessment system in response to explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
Under the system, officials at threat assessment centers in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego and Sacramento review information from federal authorities involving possible local threats, said Kelly Huston, assistant secretary of the California Emergency Management System.
"At this point we don't see a connection to California, but it's pretty early,'' Huston said, adding protection of California's critical systems is a priority.
California officials were examining if there was "any shred of information coming out of Boston correlated to something we know about locally, trying to see if there's any connections, and if there is a connection, who needs to know about it,'' Huston said.
The emergency management system was established after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Acting Governor Gavin Newsom also said there was no indication of a threat of any kind to California or any of its communities.

Newsom released the following statement:

"Jennifer and I are deeply saddened by the tragic events in Boston today and our hearts go out to the victims’ families and their communities. There’s no indication of any threats to California or our local communities at this time. However, these events are a reminder to remain vigilant and always report anything unusual to your local law enforcement agency." 

The San Francisco and Oakland police departments are among the areas on heightened alert after the explosions near the Boston Marathon finish line.
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and police Chief Greg Suhr spoke to reporters Monday afternoon, saying security measures will be scrutinized for all big events in the coming months, including the Craigslist Bay to Breakers race in May.

"We're looking at every single event that we have scheduled," Lee  said.

The mayor said his office has already been in contact with Bay to  Breakers organizers and that additional steps may be taken before the May 19  race.

 "We have time to figure some things out," Lee said.

He added that details about the Boston explosions remain unclear  and may affect what additional security measures are taken.

Suhr said police and other city departments held a conference call  after the bombing and that the Police Department's command staff will be  walking along Market Street later today to ensure public safety.

The police chief encouraged anyone who sees anything suspicious to  alert authorities.

 "Err on the side of caution," Suhr said. "Better it be nothing and  we dispense with it quickly than it be something that we don't know about and  somebody gets hurt."

Oakland police Sgt. Chris Bolton said there will be a more visible police presence at sporting events Monday night.

San Jose police say they are not modifying security at any critical infrastructure sites. The department spokesman said San Jose "is not currently modifying or planning to modify its field deployment of officers or security at any critical infrastructure sites (airport, etc.)."

A spokesperson for BART said it is on heightened alert. Riders should "notice an increased police presence on BART trains and in facilities," but BART would not go into specifics.

A spokesman for the Oakland A's said the stadium will be on heightened awareness. " We will continue our normal game-day security procedures, which include hand-checking all bags brought into the Coliseum. Beyond that, we are working with our in-house security and the Oakland Police, and reminding our game-day and full-time employees to be extra observant," said Oakland A's Bob Rose.

In regards to Warriors games at Oracle Arena in Oakland, the team statement read in part: "We are always on heightened security. EVERY fan must go through a magnetometer EVERY game when they enter the building. That will be the case tonight as well."

More on the investigation into the blasts from the Investigative Unit's Tony Kovaleski:

Cheryl Hurd contributed to this report.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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