Straub assures police will keep Spokane safe

Police Chief: "There is no threat that suggests that people in Spokane need to be concerned,"

Published On: Apr 15 2013 03:52:40 PM PDT
Police Chief Frank Straub
SPOKANE, Wash. -

With Bloomsday only three weeks away, Spokane Police Chief Frank Straub said the safety of all participants was assured in the shadow of Monday's bombing of the Boston Marathon which killed two and left several dozen wounded.

At an impromptu press conference Monday afternoon within hours of the bombing, Chief Straub sought to assure Spokane that the police department is well informed, well prepared and very capable of keeping the citizens of the Lilac City safe.

"There is no threat that suggests that people in Spokane need to be concerned," Straub said.

Straub, who is a friend of Boston police commissioner Ed Davis, took Monday's bombing seriously, adding that there will be heightened police presence around the city which was previously targeted by a bomb in 2011.

During the Martin Luther King Jr. Unity March in January 2011, a sophisticated explosive device was left in a wooden box inside a backpack along the march route and had the potential to kill and wound people as they walked past it.

Two city workers noticed the backpack and alerted police, who re-routed the march, cordoned off the area and brought in the bomb squad, which secured the device.

The FBI later arrested Stevens County resident Kevin Harpham, after tracking down fishing weights used in the device to produce shrapnel to purchases made on his debit card. He was later charged, tried, convicted and sentenced 32 years in prison for leaving the improvised explosive device along the side of the street with the intent to kill or maim marchers.

Straub said Monday there will be a heightened police presence around the city on Bloomsday.

"I've already received briefings on the Boston incident already today. I will expect to receive more," he said.

Straub did not go into details on how the department will provide security for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure this weekend or for Bloomsday in early May.

"What I will say is we will guarantee a safe event or safe events. We will take whatever steps are appropriate," he added.

Straub feels confident with his department's plans to protect upcoming events and will adjust if needed.

"As more details come in about the Boston incident we will certainly adjust our staffing levels, especially with our specialized units according with the information developed out of Boston," Straub said.