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Local Parade, Event Organizers Double Down On Security Following Boston Terrorism

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TWC News: Local Parade, Event Organizers Double Down On Security Following Boston Terrorism
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Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said there will be more counter-terror technology and mobile cameras at major parades and outdoor events in the city, and event organizers are increasing security measures in the wake of the Boston bombings. NY1's Criminal Justice reporter Dean Meminger filed the following report.

Explosive experts at MSA Security in Lower Manhattan have put together a mock-up of the pressure cookers that blew up at the finish line of the Boston Marathon last week. They show the replica to their customers and potential customers.

One of the MSA experts, Michael O'Neil, is retired from the New York City Police Department and was the first commanding officer of the department's counter-terrorism unit, which was created after the September 11th attacks.

"I would say we probably got an additional 30 to 40 clients since that attack in Boston," O'Neil said.

He said no matter how great security is, the best terrorism detectors are everyday people.

"At noon on any given day in New York City, you could have 12 million people. If you feel they are all engaged and informed about the threat, think about that as a force multiplier of people looking for that threat," O'Neil said.

Organizers of the thousands of events held across the city will be asking participants to be on the lookout.

The National Puerto Rican Day Parade, which attracts over a million people, is set for June 9. Organizers said they were already scheduled to meet with the police next week, that meeting now has extra importance.

"We receive the concerns of the police department very seriously and we cooperate with them from whatever is demanded from the police department," said Carlos Velasquez, a parade organizer.

A spokesperson for the Macy's July 4th fireworks said it is premature to talk about any changes. The company works closely with law enforcement.

Halloween parade organizers said they rely totally on the police for protection, but admit a parade after dark with people wearing costumes is a challenge.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly told NY1 on Monday he wants to increase technology and cameras at major events.

"Something that we are putting in motion now is to increase the number of mobile cameras we have for big events," Kelly said. "In other words, cameras we use for a particular event, then take them down, then put them up when another event takes place."

The commissioner said he will be talking with officials in Boston to see what they have learned from the bombing.

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