In fact, when Calnon was watching events unfold in Boston, he began thinking about RAGBRAI.
“It’s going through my mind, what can we do to protect thousands of riders,” he said about the bike event, which will be rolling through both of his counties in just months.
One thing he might recommend is checking trash cans, something that is actually done on a small scale now. He said he believes the Boston sanitation department went through and emptied all the trash cans along the race route before the runners started. But maybe emergency planners and other public safety officials have to take a look during an event, too.
“Anybody could have walked along and dropped [a backpack bomb] into [that trash can], and people right next to them probably would not have noticed,” Calnon said. “In our open society, no one looks at what someone else is throwing in a trash can.”
There are a multitude of precautions public safety officials put in place at large events. Boston can be studied to gain another scenario to watch out for.
“We can look at that as emergency coordinators and other responders and say, ‘OK, if we have an event like that, perhaps we are going to make sure we check trash cans right before [the crowd arrives].'”