FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Putnam County Executive
April 16, 2013
Odell Extends Condolences, Prayers to Marathon Attendees
Public Urged to be Vigilant, Share Info
Two terrorist explosions brought an early end to the elite race where more than 23,000 participants were enjoying near perfect running weather on a beautiful spring day. The double bombings that occurred yesterday near the finish line of the Boston Marathon killed three people, wounded more than 100 and will change the lives of many forever.
The temperature on September 11, 2001 was also brisk with a cloudless blue sky stretching over Manhattan as two airplanes struck the World Trade Center and the lives of many New Yorkers were forever changed.
Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell noted the similarities of the two events as she sat in her office.
“The impact of this tragedy reaches far beyond Boston’s city limits,” she said. “Many of our children attend colleges in the Boston area. This impacts us as well. I’m sure I speak for all Putnam residents when I say our hearts, thoughts and prayers are in Boston with everyone who was there.”
Today President Obama declared that all flags will be flown at half-staff on all government buildings and military installations until April 20, “ As a mark of respect for the victims of the senseless acts of violence” that took place in Boston on April 15.
The safety and security of the public is something federal, state, city and town governments take seriously but it is something they can’t do alone. Sharing of information is vital and a point Putnam’s Commissioner of Emergency Services Adam B. Stiebeling and Director of Emergency Management Thomas Lannon, Jr. often make.
“The tragedy in Boston reminds us that we must be ever vigilant,” said Stiebeling. “Those of us in Emergency Services need the help of the public at times like this. So please, be aware of your surroundings and let us know if anything seems out of the ordinary.”
“Whether it is a cowardly terrorist act or a natural disaster like Super Storm Sandy, we must work together and share information,” Lannon said. “Information is for planning, responding to, recovering from or mitigating an event. “
Security around major cities was increased following the Boston bombings and Putnam has taken precautionary safety steps as well. Currently the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office is at a heightened awareness level and will be increasing patrols in all large public gathering areas including train stations and platforms.
Odell explained the reason for these precautionary steps.
“Many of our residents commute to Manhattan by rail or car on a daily basis. While we have no expectations of experiencing any event, we will be vigilant and I ask that our residents be vigilant as well.”
Residents can help.
“If you see something, say something. Be observant, if it doesn’t look right, it probably isn’t. Call the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office at 845-225-4300 to report your concerns or dial 9-1-1,” said Odell.
Lannon suggests New Yorkers sign up to receive emergency notifications at NY-Alert.
“NY-Alert is an emergency alert notification system that will notify you with important information using any combination of email, text messaging, recorded phone message or fax and is available to you at no cost,” he said.
To sign up for notifications go to www.nyalert.gov. Follow the instructions adding any areas of interest in New York State. You should also go to “Add Routine Notifications” and select specialized areas within Putnam County.
For help signing up, residents can visit the County website at www.putnamcountyny.gov/nyalert.