Sheriff on security: 'You can be our eyes too'

By Matt Porter

April 16, 2013 Updated Apr 17, 2013 at 1:46 AM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) After two bomb blasts hit Boston on Monday, the fear that someone could hit a marquee event like the nation's oldest marathon were realized.

Drew Wasko, of Binghamton, was running Boston and said it wasn't for lack of security that the bombing happened.

"After 9/11, it was in the back of your mind that something could happen," Wasko said, "But the security as you're running along the course, there's national guard, there's police, almost every step of the way. There's helicopters overhead."

Wes Warren, chairman of the criminal justice and homeland security programs at Broome Community College, said advancement in bomb technologies have changed reality forever.

"In the olden days, the bombs tended to be very bulky and very big," Warren said. "Through trial and error, the bombs are now very small and compact."

Warren, a 20-year police and army veteran, said people are now a part of the front lines for public safety.

"Be aware of suspicious unattended packages," he said. "When you're at an event, a sporting event, make a game plan. Talk to your children, have a game plan, an exit strategy."

Warren said outdoor events like parades and marathons are easier targets for a terror attack.

Broome County Sheriff David Harder agreed, and said police are limited in scope when surrounded by crowds.

"You have to be our eyes too," Harder said, "Because there are only so many of us. And with a large gathering, it's even tougher."

He said reporting an issue is a simple but important step.

"If you see something, say something," Harder said. "If you don't see an officer around or security people, just get a cell phone and call 911."

To report suspicious activity, the New York State Police offer a 24-hour hotline, 1-800-SAFE-NYS.