Officers prevalent at One Spark event

Increased security in place in wake of Boston bombings

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - With a police officer on just about every corner, you can't help but think about security while you're downtown for the One Spark event, which runs through Sunday.

And most people can't help but think about what happened in Boston earlier this week either.

But instead of being afraid, downtown workers like Diana Perez and Ellia Pico say they actually feel safer.

"The authorities are going to pay more attention to security after Boston, so I'm sure that things that they didn't think about, they're thinking now to make us safe," Pico said.

Special Section: One Spark

"I refuse to allow terrorists or anyone to control me enjoying my day-to-day life," Perez said.

One Spark artist Gabriel Ortiz is impressed by what he's seen so far.

"There have been security guards on staff non-stop," he said. "All last night we had two guards posted up in the plaza right here, and that meant a lot to us and it made us feel really safe."

If people don't feel safe, they won't come to an event like this, and that's another key component of security.

"I think communication is key, just like we're communicating with you today, allowing the public to understand that we do have systems and procedures in place," said Tonisha Gaines, Jacksonville director of special events.

The Unified Incident Command has been put in place for One Spark.

"As much as anything else, it's just the message of being aware, making sure that people, if they see something, that they talk about it, that they come and tell us," Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Capt. Robert Connor said.

Channel 4 crime and safety analyst Ken Jefferson says the most important eyes on this event may be the ones you don't notice.

"Every officer that you see may not be in uniform," he said. "You may be looking at an officer and don't even know you're looking at an officer."

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