News Column

Okla. on Standby to Help With Bombing Memorial Observances

April 17, 2013

Oklahoma is standing by to provide assistance to Oklahoma City officials for two upcoming events commemorating the 18th anniversary of the bombing of the Murrah Building, Gov. Mary Fallin said Tuesday.

"We are working to ensure that events will go smoothly and will remain safe," Fallin said. "The local law enforcement is taking steps to review and strengthen personnel and security precaution and protocols, including additional manpower."

As a result of two bombs exploding Monday near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, state troopers will be made available to help with Friday's remembrance ceremony at the Oklahoma City Memorial & Museum and with the April 28 Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon, the governor said. Both events are in downtown Oklahoma City. No immediate changes are planned for either, officials have said.

"We will be available if requested to help," Fallin said. "But it is a local control issue with the city of Oklahoma City and certainly with the foundation that is running the marathon itself."

The Oklahoma Public Safety Department is monitoring social media sites and paying close attention to "chatter" that may indicate or pose legitimate public threats to public safety, Fallin said.

"We do not believe that our citizens in our state are in any danger," she said. "We haven't had any reports of anything that might cause us to believe that there might be something on the horizon. We just want to advise the citizens to be cautious."

She said she is encouraging off-duty local and state police officers to stop in and check schools to provide a law enforcement presence, especially at schools without security officers.

The governor asked Oklahomans to be vigilant "during this time of uncertainty" and report suspicious activity to local law officers.

"I do want to make it very clear that Oklahomans should not be afraid," Fallin said. "We can't let acts like what happened in Boston deter us from carrying on our daily activities and living our lives, because that's what terrorists want us to do -- live in fear."

Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, said those responsible for the attack must be brought to justice.

"My prayers and those of all Oklahomans are with those who lost loved ones and those who were injured after the malicious and cowardly attacks in Boston. We owe a debt of gratitude to our heroic first responders and others on the scene who in the midst of uncertainty rushed to help those in need," Inhofe said in a statement.

"The tragic events in Boston come nearly 18 years to the day after the terrorist attack on the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City. These horrific events remind us all that we live in a dangerous world that requires us to remain vigilant in defending our country against threats both at home and abroad. Those who perpetrated this act of terror must be found and brought to justice."

Contributing: Chris Casteel, Washington Bureau


(c)2013 The Oklahoman

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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Source: Copyright Daily Oklahoman (Oklahoma City) 2013

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