Increased security planned for Pat Tillman Run - Fox 2 News Headlines

Increased security planned for Pat Tillman Run

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TEMPE, Ariz. -

This weekend is the annual Pat Tillman Run in Tempe. As you can imagine, heading into Pat's Run, some people are understandably nervous about the safety of a large public gathering.

Everyone involved in that run is watching what is happening in Boston very carefully.

35,000 people are registered for Pat's Run, a number that is substantially more than the 23,000 runners in the Boston Marathon. But unlike that run, Pat's Run is only 4.2 miles. It takes place in Tempe and kicks off at Sun Devil Stadium Saturday morning.

We talked to a commander with the Tempe Police Department, who said that attacks are something they take into account when planning and preparing for big public events.

"Every special event that we deem for this level of security, we talk about those very issues," said Tempe Commander Noah Johnson. "There's not a special event, not a large gathering that we [don't] have to deal with on all levels -- that we need to prepare for some sort of that event and try to mitigate it. This is not something we just talk about today, it's a talk we continuously have every day."

The run honors Arizona veteran Pat Tillman, who was killed in friendly fire in Afghanistan.

Tempe Police said they are beefing up security and will be on the lookout for anything that looks suspicious -- and advise the public to do so as well.

"Packages that don't belong, backpacks that don't belong, people that don't seem to be participating but are there, things of that nature. People know what's normal in their environment and what looks suspicious. We just ask them to report that," said Johnson.

Statement by Pat Tillman Foundation

The Pat Tillman Foundation continues to work closely with the City of Tempe and Tempe Police, Arizona State University, Arizona State University Police Department and additional security to ensure the safety of all our participants at this weekend's 9th Annual Pat's Run. Our protocols are being constantly reviewed and modified as needed to ensure the safety of all in attendance. We are asking participants not to bring bags or backpacks to the race venue. Also, participants should report any suspicious activity, people or packages to the nearest security personnel. As is the case every year, the Pat Tillman Foundation wants to ensure that the 9th Annual Pat's Run continues to be a safe and inspiring event for all our runners, their supporters and the local Tempe community, as we come together to honor Pat Tillman's legacy of leadership, service and action.

Video: We talked live to former police sergeant and security consultant Andy Hill on how to better improve the safety of public gatherings -- and he explains that Americans will perhaps have to make some sacrifices.

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