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N4T Investigators: Street smarts - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

N4T Investigators: Street smarts

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Tucson - On Halloween day in New York, eight people were killed and 11 were injured when a terrorist claiming ties to the Islamic State plowed a rented truck into a busy bicycle path.

In Berlin last Dec. 19, an ISIS loyalist drove a tractor trailer into a Christmas market,  killing 12 people. These are just two of the many terrorist attacks that occurred recently. Regardless of how far from southern Arizona those attacks were, police here have taken notice. 

"It has changed our strategy over time, "Tucson Police Dept. Sgt. Jobe Dickinson told the News 4 Tucson Investigators. Dickinson is the department's supervisor of special events. One of the biggest events is next month's Fourth Avenue Street Fair. The 48th annual fair is expected to draw between 250,000 and 300,000 people. Dickinson says new security measures will be in place there, and at other big events, including next week's El Tour de Tucson bike race.

Dickinson said, "It used to be we just put up "Road Closed" signs. And that was good enough. And we have changed our precautions to lead up to these events, to make sure that they're safer for the public. There will be more resources out there, whether that be vehicles or barricades. 

Dickinson says TPD is looking at using "Jersey Barriers", at big events, the ones typically used during road construction to re-route traffic.

University of Arizona Police Chief Brian Seastone has already increased crowd security. "Because of recent events around the world, we're always trying to be proactive. Anticipate," Seastone said. 

 A Cat Tran bus has been parked on Cherry St. near the planetarium before football games to protect tailgaters from traffic. Seastone said this is the first football season that's been done. He said, "We've got our Pac-12 [conference] chiefs that we talk to. We talk to our local law enforcement, our emergency managers. The network that we have, we have to share information. We have to see what other people are doing to see if it will work here."

If you plan on attending any events where large crowds will be present, police have advice they've offered for years. 

Both Dickinson and Seastone told us, "Be aware, If you see something, say something." Seastone added, "If something doesn't seem right to you, call the police."

Local police say there's no reason that people going to big events in our area should feel that they are not safe. And they don't want you to stay home due to fear because, then, as police always say, the terrorists win.

If you have a story you'd like us to investigate, email us at investigators@kvoa.com or call our tip line , 520-955-4444. 

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