Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Porta-Potty Bag Checks Initiated For Park Events In Wake Of Boston Marathon Incident


A man working for a private security firm (red shirt) was conducting bag checks before entering porta-potty line near the Japan Day festivities in Central Park on Sunday May 12th.   (Photo: Courtesy Robert K. Chin via gothamist)

"The City in all five boroughs is working with event organizers to ensure the highest security measures are being put in place to keep the public safe," according to a statement from the Parks Department.  "Some of measures include security at porto-sans when they are set up in close proximity to the public and event participants.  As they always have, security measures at events vary depending on size and scope of the event.

The Parks Department said security at  the Googa Mooga event will run as it did last year. "Only those with tickets will be allowed in and bags will be given soft checks. All garbage will be collected in clear bins with clear lids. "


New Yorkers must now submit to bag checks before entering portable restrooms in public parks during events. A tipster passed along a photo he tweeted of the porta-potty line near the Japan Day festivities in Central Park on Sunday and noted that the man in the red shirt worked for a private security firm and was conducting bag checks. "Pretty much everyone was searched, including small purses, backpacks," Robert Chin wrote in an email, according to gothamist.
A spokeswoman for the Parks Department, Tara Kiernan, confirmed the policy. "These are added security measures being implemented by the City and event organizers in the wake of the incidents in at the Boston marathon," Kiernan wrote in an email. "All large events are following this protocol now in an effort to keep event goers and park patrons safe."
Kiernan added that the event organizers, private security firms, or the NYPD would be conducting the searches, depending on the circumstance.
Last month Mayor Bloomberg said that after the Boston marathon bombings, New Yorkers should learn to tolerate increased intrusions on their Constitutional right to privacy in exchange for some semblance of safety. "We live in a complex world where you’re going to have to have a level of security greater than you did back in the olden days, if you will," the mayor said.
Chin expressed skepticism that the policy would actually make New Yorkers safer. "It's gonna be a major inconvenience when you need to go 'drop a bomb,' the government will want to know where you did it, and when."
Read More:
gothamist - May 14,  2013  - By Christopher Robbins

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