CINCINNATI – A lone-gunman scenario is the top security concern for public safety officials when Major League Baseball's All-Star Game comes to Cincinnati next year.
Two, high-ranking public safety officials said Cincinnati is ready to host the game, but a few upgrades in equipment are needed to insure the safety of the thousands expected to attend the game and festivities. The main concern for public safety officials here is a lone wolf scenario, whether it is a lone gunman or a person attacking alone using some kind of hazardous material or weapon of mass destruction to harm large crowds, they said.
That is is not an uncommon concern for police and fire officials here and across the nation, especially after the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013 when two brothers planted bombs along the routes that killed three and injured 260. In fact, a 2013 article in a policing magazine discussed the lone wolf concern.
In 2011, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano warned that lone wolf terror plots were on the rise.
"What we see now is smaller plots," she said at the time. "But we are also seeing a rise of activities by individuals who are acting by themselves, and that kind of attack is the most difficult to prevent because there is nothing to intercept."
First Meeting With MLB Next Month
Executive Assistant Police Chief Paul Humphries, the department’s second in command, and Assistant Fire Chief Ed Dadosky, attended All-Star Game festivities last week and both said that while Cincinnati’s Downtown is a little more cramped than Minneapolis’, Cincinnati’s experience hosting international events, namely the World Choir Games, already provides a wealth of experience to host the festivities.
The first official meeting with Major League Baseball, the Reds and regional public safety agencies is scheduled for next month, Dadosky said.
“It’s not just the game,” Humphries said. “There are way more people that attend festivities around the game – the FanFest, the parade, for example – than the actual game.
“We have experience with our own Opening Day Parade as well as hosting big events in the past.”
WCPO Insiders may read more about what public safety officials are doing to prepare Cincinnati for the 2015 All-Star Game.