There continues to be hundreds of bomb threats and incidents, especially at schools, public buildings and summer events. Most are false alarms but law enforcement must still respond in some way. And police and security officials also are implementing higher level precautions.
Among recent false alarms, a work of art at a downtown art festival, held just days ago, created a bomb scare and sent folks in Iowa City, Iowa, running. There were dozens of onlookers behind crime scene tape in downtown. At the time, many said they were in this precarious situation and wanted to leave.
As the bomb squad blasted a suspicious package with a water cannon, 200 miles away 29-year-old poet artist Russell Jaffe was wrapping up a promotional poetry tour in Chicago when he heard the news about a bomb threat back home in Iowa City. A short time later, Jaffe received a call from police and learned he was indirectly responsible, because he is the man that created the object feared to be a bomb. A smashed-up mini TV, wrapped in poetry that last winter he auctioned off to the highest bidder, who left it in downtown.
More organizations are tightening up their security procedures at special events.
Among examples are the new rules set by the National Football League, which were announced days ago. NFL fans arriving at stadiums for games in the 2013 season should leave their large bags at home.
That's the big takeaway from the new NFL policy, which will limit the size and type of bags that are allowed into stadiums starting in the preseason. In an effort to increase public safety and expedite entry into the stadium, the NFL Committee on Stadium Security in May unanimously recommended the implementation of the measure.
Fans will have a few options for bringing smalls bags into stadiums. They only will be allowed to bring in small clear plastic, vinyl or PVC bags that do not exceed 12x6x12, according to the league.
Other options include a one gallon clear plastic freezer bag or a small clutch bag, approximately the size of a hand. An exception will be made for medically necessary items after they have been properly inspected at a gate designated for this purpose.
Prohibited items include, but are not limited to: purses larger than a clutch bag, coolers, briefcases, backpacks, fanny packs, cinch bags, seat cushions, luggage of any kind, computer bags and camera bags or any bag larger than the permissible size, the statement reads.
Similar measures have started at many large college sporting event venues.