Reporting Bud Gillett
DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Monday’s bombings of the Boston Marathon raised questions about security for the upcoming dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Center on April 25.
All five living Presidents are scheduled to participate. Security planning started months, maybe even a year ago for the event.
Officially, agencies aren’t saying much. But at least four police departments and the secret service are planning for it.
“You’re always in a state of re-assessment,” said Danny Defenbaugh, and he should know.
The former head of the Dallas FBI also led that agency’s investigation of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. He said physical security procedures and planning (that were evident today with Dallas police officers) are usually spot on.
“I don’t think they’re going to change, if you will, because there’s only certain things that you can do,” he said. “But as far as saying they’re going to change all their procedures, I doubt that very seriously. The procedures are in place, and normally they work and they work well.”
But he expects sweeping intelligence upgrades so everyone… everyone attending has a detailed background check.
Defenbaugh said knowing who is going to attend and having the capability to provide the necessary security are intelligence efforts made weeks before an event.
“I’ve been told I’ll have to fill out something online and be registered that way so they know who I am and who’s coming,” said Sarah Dorsey, who expects to provide adequate identification for both she and her daughter.
Dallas Police aren’t talking about the upcoming dedication, which they will jointly share responsibility for with Highland Park, University Park and SMU police.
The U.S. Secret Service is the lead agency and said only that security is tight, it’s been planning for months and it’s ready.
“This is our dream to go to the opening of the library and we’re not going to let fear stop us,” said Dorsey.
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