As the FBI investigates the deadly bombing at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, those who work to ensure the safety of that St. Jude Country Music Marathon will take a second look at the plan to keep Nashville's marquee marathon safe.
"It kind of brings it home to everybody and it reminds us of the work that departments everywhere really contribute," said Assistant Nashville Fire Chief Kim Lawson.
Even though the Country Music Marathon and its security plan has been in the works for months, the bombings in Boston could bring changes.
Channel 4 News has learned the FBI will share information, as needed, with officials in Nashville ahead of the April 27 event in Music City.
"I know that those lessons are unfolding, and it's just a very, very tragic thing that happened in Boston," Lawson said.
Last year, about 500 people - including hundreds of armed officers - staffed the Country Music Marathon.
Nashville police Chief Steve Anderson said in a statement:
"The Nashville Police Department is now and has been in the security planning process for the April 27th Country Music Marathon. Today's explosions in Boston will factor into that planning as we meet in the coming days with marathon organizers. We will be in contact with law enforcement in Boston and our federal partners with the FBI and ATF prior to finalizing our strategies. The Nashville Police Department is absolutely committed to the safety and enjoyment of this event by runners, their families and race enthusiasts."
Mayor Karl Dean said in a statement:
"Like all Americans, I was shocked and saddened by what happened at the Boston Marathon, and our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by Monday's explosions. The Boston Marathon is an iconic American sporting event, and the city of Boston is like a second home to me having grown up nearby. No place is better equipped to handle such a tragedy than this patriotic city that embodies the courageous spirit that started our country. I will be at the starting line of the Country Music Marathon to cheer runners on, as I have the past several years. I am fully confident in the safety precautions being put in place by marathon organizers, the Metro police department and our federal partners. Planning is continuing as they prepare for the security of the event."
To be very clear: authorities have received no word of a threat aimed at Nashville's marathon, but the FBI confirmed as it investigates Boston it will pass along some intelligence to law enforcement in Nashville in a push for safety and peace of mind.
"It serves as a big reminder that people should stay alert, watch their surroundings - especially when you're in crowded events like that. Anything that could be perceived as unusual should certainly be reported right away," Lawson said.
More than 30,000 people participated in the 2012 Country Music Marathon marathon, and thousands of runners are expected again later this month.
"We were shocked and saddened to learn of the tragedy in Boston today. Our hearts and thoughts are with the victims, their families and all those affected," Competitor Group Inc., organizers of the Country Music Marathon, said in a statement. "We are working closely with our partners - both government agencies and law enforcement - to immediately review security protocol and safety procedures in light of the tragic events of the day."
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