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Long Beach city, police officials say Grand Prix will be safe
As authorities across the country stepped up safety measures after the bombings in Boston, Long Beach leaders gathered Wednesday to assure the public that the city's signature event, the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, will be safe.

An estimated 175,000 spectators are expected downtown during the three-day event this weekend, and security will be heightened, Mayor Bob Foster and Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell said.

Foster said the public can be assured that "the city of Long Beach and the Grand Prix Association will take all appropriate measures to protect public security. Some of these measures will be visible, some will not. "

He added that his office, in conjunction with the police department, is continuing to monitor the ongoing investigation in Boston.

"There are neither specific nor credible threats for this week's activities - I want to be very clear on that," Foster said. "The Long Beach Grand Prix showcases this great city every year as we welcome Indy Car's top race car drivers. "

McDonnell said the department would use intelligence gathered in the days preceding the Grand Prix and throughout the Grand Prix to their advantage.

"We will take all appropriate precautions for the safety and security for everyone involved," he said.

McDonnell urged residents to assist the police department.

"We need help from the community for all we do... The term 'See Something, Say Something,' is relevant for this event as it always in our city," McDonnell said.

Jim Michaelian, president and CEO of the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach, said he, along with race officials, is working with every agency to "minimize any possibilities of any harm. "

Michaelian said the explosions in Boston haven't affected ticket sales, but it is still to be determined if the tragedy will affect attendance.

"If the weather is good I think it will be a great weekend with a good attendance," he said. Long Beach Press Telegram
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