Heavy law enforcement presence expected at this year’s Ironman competition

CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee (WDEF) – In a time in which ISIS and ISIS inspired attacks keep happening all across the the world, security easily becomes an interesting topic as Chattanooga prepares for another big Ironman competition.

As competitors in this years Ironman get ready for Sunday’s event, they’re obviously focusing on winning, but what about security?

“I don’t usually think about it. I swim, bike and I run and that’s what I do. Somebody else is handling all that and that’s just not something that’s on my mind,” said competitor Daniel Ickes.

“You’re so focused on the race and you’re so focused on training for a year to get here and now everything is in one day. You’re trying to have fun and do your best. You’re watching everybody else’s ankle to see how old they are in you’re age group and I don’t think security comes into your mind much at all,” said competitor Scott Griffin.

Competitors may not necessarily think about security, but some of their loved ones who plan to watch from the sidelines do think about it.

“After the events of the last couple of weeks, It has crossed my mind because you don’t know when something could hit,” said Arlene Ickes who is married to competitor Daniel Ickes.

Thursday morning, local, state, and federal law enforcement officials from Tennessee and Georgia held a briefing on Ironman security and other matters to ensure competitors and onlookers will be safe. They couldn’t go into specifics about law enforcement personnel without tipping off would-be criminals, but they did assure one thing.

“You can expect to see us. You can expect to interact with us and expect us to be there to protect you. We’ve taken every opportunity and every resource at our disposal that is available to us; will be used or will be available to accomplish that mission,” said Chattanooga Police Sgt. Austin Garrett.

Ironman competitor Brian Bohrer is also a police officer from North Carolina. He told News 12 the public can always help law enforcement by reporting something that doesn’t seem right.

“It’s always better to make someone aware of something and it be nothing than not report it and it actually be something,” Bohrer said.

Law enforcement officials have also announced that the use of drones over the the Ironman course will be prohibited. Anyone caught using a drone will face federal charges.

Categories: Crime, Local News

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