Cincinnati police use water-filled barricades, buffer zones to try to prevent Nice-style attack

Posted at 8:31 PM, Jul 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-15 20:32:02-04

CINCINNATI – How can police protect large crowds from terrorists in trucks and cars?

It's one more worry for authorities around the U.S. following the deadly attack by a truck driver in France Thursday.

There are no guarantees, but Cincinnati is trying to reduce the risk of vehicles plowing into pedestrians.  

Large plastic barricades that fill with water are stored in the Transit Center between Great American Ball Park and Paul Brown Stadium, ready to be stationed to block streets during a big event. When filled with 220 gallons from a fire truck or hydrant, each one weighs one ton, Capt. Mike Neville told WCPO Friday.

"They're very heavy  - you're not going to move them," Neville said.

In addition, police close extra streets to create buffer zones around large groups of pedestrians so there is more separation between traffic and the public.

Neville and City Manager Harry Black said Cincinnati police try to prepare for anything.

"We are preparing and can improvise if something happens," Neville said. "This is something we do on a constant basis."

"We have organized ourselves from a public safety standpoint at the highest level," Black said. "Our highest level of strategy, our highest level of tactical plans and so forth."

Still, they said they are committed to learn what they can from the attacks in Nice and elsewhere.

"We're looking at all of those things and we  will incorporate whatever becomes new intelligence - such as what has happened in France," Black said. "We will add that layer to our overall planning and preparation process."

Black also urged to public to watch for anything usual and report it.

"It's important that we all stay vigilant. that we all stay alert and that we communicate. If you see something, say something," he said.