On April 21, 2013, Michael O'Neil, President of MSA Security and Former Commanding Officer of the NYPD Counterterrorism Division, joined Ed Randall on the radio to talk about the Boston Marathon bombing and security issues in sports.
The safety and security of sports goers and fans at high-profile events such as marathons, football games, and stadium-based events and has been a long-standing concern for security experts and event managers alike. Mr. Randall talked with MSA's Michael O'Neil about the complexities of securing sports events after the explosions that struck the Boston Marathon, and how security procedures have changed since the tragic terrorist attacks of 9/11.
A nationally-renowned expert on public safety, Mr. O'Neil said he first heard about the Boston Marathon explosion through MSA's Intelligence Analysis team, which delivers detailed, near real-time Intelligence Briefs about terrorist events, explosive incidents, and other high-consequence threats impacting clients in the public and private sectors.
"Do you think the events this week have an impact on baseball and protecting us at Citi Field and Yankee Stadium when we go out there?" Mr. Randall asked.
"Yes I do," Mr. O'Neil said. "What I will tell you specifically about those two stadiums post 9/11, from my past life [in NYPD Counterterrorism] and even in my present life, is that they have sophisticated security programs. They think about this type of threat. So that's probably the thing most people will want to do now: First off, with security plans, think about this threat and take a look at your security program and how you deal with it. But those two stadiums in particular have multiple layers of defense."
Asked how we have progressed since 9/11, Mr. O'Neil responded, "I think it's awareness. It's awareness of this type of threat. If there's one positive outcome of this tragedy in Boston, it's that it's on people's minds again that these terrible events can happen to us here in this country, and security professionals and the law enforcement/intelligence communities are dealing with that, but also to have an engaged and aware public is probably the most important thing: where someone might see suspicious behavior and alert authorities."
To listen to the complete interview with Ed Randall, click here. For additional interviews about the Boston Marathon bombing featuring MSA Security experts Mr. O'Neil and MSA Director of Explosives Training Mike White, please visit MSA Security's News Room page.