Terror Threat Raised For Holiday Weekend; TPD Taking Precautions

Thursday, July 2nd 2015, 11:45 pm
By: News On 6

Saturday, thousands of Tulsans will watch fireworks downtown, but police are stepping up security now that the FBI is warning of potential terror threats.

Some counter-terrorism experts say, "There's no part of the country that should feel safe," and Tulsa Police are taking that seriously.

Because River West Park will be closed due to Gathering Place construction, Veterans Park is the place to be if you want to see fireworks in Tulsa Saturday night.

Police will be focusing their efforts there to protect the biggest crowd in the city.

Thousands of law enforcement officers will spend July 4th trying to prevent a terror attack, and Tulsa police officers are among them.

"Every time there's a directive, or there's some kind of chatter that occurs nationally or worldwide, when it comes to our events we can't take the idea or the position that, 'Hey, it's not going to happen here,'" said Sergeant Les Young.

The FBI is warning law enforcement officers to be on high alert, saying supporters of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, could be planning attacks.

New York Republican representative, Peter King said, "I don't think they are capable of a large-scale attack, but certainly an attack that could kill, maim or wound hundreds of people."

Young said TPD is stepping up its efforts at Freedom Fest downtown. The event is expected to draw a crowd of more than 50,000 people, possibly even as many as 100,000.

"We always try to be overly prepared. If we over prepare and we don't use that preparedness, great," he said.

A command post will be set up with EMSA ambulances standing by, and the Tulsa Police bomb squad will be on duty.

Young said, "If we have anything that we have to confiscate, hopefully we don't, but they'll be available to put it in the right place and dispose of it properly."

Police said they have not had any threats involving the holiday weekend in Tulsa, but will keep an eye on national events as they unfold over the weekend.

counter-terrorism experts are reminding people that if they see something unusual, say something.

Festivities start at Veterans Park at 5:00 on Saturday evening.