LMPD changing security measures at Thunder Over Louisville - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

LMPD changing security measures at Thunder Over Louisville

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Chief Steve Conrad Chief Steve Conrad
Ben Wheatley Ben Wheatley
Michael Love Michael Love
The Pegasus Parade The Pegasus Parade

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The bombings in Boston have police in Louisville changing some of security plans for Thunder Over Louisville. They are also asking for the public's help to make sure Saturday's event goes off without any issues.

Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad said officers are living by the motto stay vigilant.

"If you see something suspicious, please say something. That is very, very important," Conrad said at a press briefing Tuesday about their security plans. "If it does not look right to you, please alert an officer to the problem so we can assess and decide whether or not is a problem.

The hustle and bustle of Thunder setup is already in full swing at Waterfront Park. We are only days away from the big show that could draw more than a half a million people and those planning on attending, like Ben Wheatley of Louisville are getting excited.

"It's just the atmosphere and being around everybody," said Wheatley. "It's just like a big old party."

With that anticipation, however comes the question, could someone try to sabotage that party? After seeing the bombs go off at the Boston Marathon, it's something on Michael Love's mind.

"I think this would make a very substantial target and security should be alerted. They should be watchful for things like that," said Love.

Louisville Metro police said it's on their minds too.

"What Boston adds to our plan that we had not already thought of and had not already talked about is the need to be extra vigilant," said Conrad.

It's hard for people like Love, who will be at Thunder, to think someone could a hide a bomb like happened in Boston.

"But more and more we're seeing these types of events take place on American soil, so yeah I have some concerns," Love said. "I truly have concerns, but I'm depending on LMPD and all the rest of those guys and girls that protect us to once again come through for us."

LMPD said they are ready. Thunder is the largest event for the city and the police department, so no matter what else is happening in the rest of the world, Chief Conrad said they are always hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst.

"This is the one event where, if something terrible were to happen here, and I would not wish that on this community, that we are truly ready with all of the resources in place to deal with it," said Conrad.

Conrad said LMPD is in constant contact with the FBI to adjust to any new threats that may arise. He said people at Waterfront Park can also expect to see more uniform officers milling around.

Not only Thunder, but the events leading up to the Kentucky Derby are a point of pride for this city, according to Conrad.

"It would be a mistake to let an event, no matter how tragic, to keep us from enjoying that sense of pride and be able to enjoy the events that bring so much to our community," said Conrad.

Police estimate that up to 700,000 people could be out along WaterFront Park during Thunder. More than 1,000 police officers will be out keeping an eye on things, and additional officers could be called in, if needed.

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