The colonel of the Vermont State Police met with local and federal authorities Tuesday to discuss Vermont's safety protocols after twin bombs detonated during the Boston Marathon shook everyone's sense of security.
"We've had discussions related to heightened security," Col. Tom L'Esperance said. "We're still looking at what actually unfolded in Boston to see if there are any residual effects and how we react to that is important."
For now, the colonel said the threat level in Vermont has not been elevated. Operations at the Burlington International Airport are running smoothly. Immediately after the attack, officials there prepared for flights from Boston, but the ground stop was lifted before any planes were diverted.
"We did have a quick meeting this morning that the TSA requested, and it was just so that they could just fill us in on what they knew," said Kelly Colling, the operations director at the Burlington International Airport.
TSA reviewed safety measures already in place for the airport's tenants and airlines. Colling says passengers will not experience any security changes. But she says the Boston bombings highlight how important it is for travelers to report anything suspicious.
"We have an active role to play in the protections of our communities," said Gary Margolis, a security expert.
Margolis agrees and says many attacks are interrupted by a member of the public who speaks up. But long-term security changes could take time to evolve.
"I think it's a bit unreasonable to think that within 24 hours we would completely understand what's going on and be able to make whatever we think the changes are," Margolis said. "We don't really know what, if any, changes need to happen. We may discover at the end of the day that what we're doing now is exactly what we should be doing."
In the meantime, the head of the Vermont state police and other law enforcement officials in Vermont say they will learn from this tragedy and incorporate those findings into the security staging of future events.
"Tragedy on the one hand, of course. But a planned event, that we have to in law enforcement, have to take a good hard look at ourselves and see what we can do to better protect the public," L'Esperance said.
At the Vt. Statehouse, the sergeant-at-arms said security was discussed after the attack, but he would not elaborate on any possible changes. Capitol police refused to answer any questions about their response.
We reached out to the Department of Homeland Security about enhanced border protections. In a statement released by Secretary Janet Napolitano, she said there's nothing to suggest the events in Boston were part of a broader plot, but as precaution, the department has activated enhanced security measures at transportation hubs. The statement did not address how borders crossings will be handled.
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