Berkshire Organizers, Police Talk Event Security in Wake of Marathon Bombings

In the aftermath of the bombings at Monday’s Boston Marathon, police and organizers of upcoming summer events in the Berkshires say they have plans in place to anticipate security threats.

The Boston Symphony Orchestra’s summer concerts at Tanglewood, which straddles the towns of Lenox and Stockbridge, each attract up to 20,000 people to the rural venue. Stockbridge police chief Richard Wilcox says each season, his department reviews emergency response plans with the Symphony, state police, the Berkshire sheriff, and the police department in Lenox.

“I think it’s critical that we do that on an annual basis, whether there’s any kind of an incident or any kind of a threat,” says Wilcox.

Wilcox declined to say how many security personnel are deployed to Tanglewood for each concert. In neighboring Pittsfield, the annual Independence Day 5K race draws about 1,200 runners and 100,000 spectators. Michael Hogue, the race’s organizer, says the Pittsfield police department handles security, and the race has never had any kind of threat. But Hogue says security will be a greater concern this year. 

“Violence is here, kind of, to stay with us. So everyone’s going to have to be more alert and vigilant, and learn how to live with this new threat,” says Hogue.

Both Hogue and Wilcox say they have contingency plans for a mass casualty event. They say patients would be brought to Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield. But for serious injuries, Baystate Medical Center in Springfield is the only Level 1 trauma center in western Massachusetts.