After a year of planning, Boca police ready for 90-minute debateby Palm Beach Post Staff | October 19th, 2012
BOCA RATON — The Boca Raton Police Department has handled many large events from the Republican Governors Association conference to the national gathering of investment managers to numerous campaign stops by presidential and vice presidential candidates.
But protecting a presidential debate, which took a year of logistical planning, is a first for the Boca PD.
“There are a lot of behind the scenes activities associated with the law enforcement effort that people would not necessarily take into consideration,” Police Chief Dan Alexander said this afternoon during a visit to the media headquarters at Lynn University. “There’s the information technology concerns, logistics like food, water things that are necessary to support what we’re trying to accomplish. We’ve been planning for the whole event over a year’s period.”
The Secret Service oversees all security at the debate, but it relies on Boca, as well as Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office and numerous other police departments across South Florida for assistance.
The Boca bomb squad was at the debate hall this morning prepping for Monday night. But there are security concerns that well exceed Lynn’s campus.
“We have a support role to the Secret Service,” Alexander said. “This is a larger law enforcement pool and we understand this event transcends the border of Lynn University.
“There are many activities associated with this debate — various events that are occurring throughout the region as well as an increase to the population in the city. It increase the complexity.”
After a year of preparation, Assistant Police Chief Edgar Morley said it all comes down to an “hour and a half.”
“It should be quite a show,” Alexander said.