University of Wisconsin police have just a few days before the annual Football Spring Game, and two weeks before thousands of runners converge on Madison for the 5K Crazylegs, to look at plans and security to prevent or respond to an incident like the Boston Marathon explosions.
An active shooter training and a hostage simulation just a few months ago had fresh thoughts in the minds of the UW Police Department as Boston erupted in blasts.
"When I first saw the news, I definitely thought right away that that’s going to be a game-changer for us,” said UWPD Lt. Jason Whitney.
UWPD is planning for the Spring Game at Camp Randall this weekend, and race officials are working with multiple agencies to plan for 20,000 runners – not much fewer than Boston’s 23,000 – to head to downtown Madison for the Crazylegs run April 27.
“I’m sure with this event today that we will be increasing our discussions around a similar event, and what that might mean for us,” Jim Bradley, Crazylegs race director, said.
Police will meet with race organizers to discuss possible changes to carry-in policies, staffing and bomb-sniffing K9 units, all in response to special training they’ve been doing following other tragic incidents.
“We work with federal agencies that are prepared to come in and assist with mass casualty events,” Whitney said. “We’ve talked with them, planned with them, but now with this type of event, it’s something to look at and see where we can improve on that.”
Runners will be informed of any changes in the Crazylegs protocol.