Airport monitoring security; Harbor police and port on standby - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Airport monitoring security; Harbor police and port on standby

Updated:
Harbor Police Dept. Chief Robert Hecker discusses heightened security status. Harbor Police Dept. Chief Robert Hecker discusses heightened security status.

New Orleans, La. — Mayor Mitch Landrieu said the city is on alert after the Boston bombings.  From the city's airport to the Port of New Orleans, officials are ready to ratchet up security, as the U.S. Homeland Security Department dictates.

"I was concerned about flying," said Shannon LeClair. She had just flown to New Orleans from her hometown of Boston along with her husband and infant son. |

"I wasn't too worried about myself but traveling with my son, I was a little worried about that," said Josh LeClair.

Monday's deadly bombings have prompted increased security in Boston and elsewhere, but many who flew into New Orleans from Bean Town said they did not experience extraordinary security at the Logan Airport in Boston.

"It wasn't bad, everything was normal, there were a lot of runners returning home, they had their marathon equipment on," said Patricia Carli, who resides in Boston.

Another traveler echoed that.

"No, there wasn't a tremendous amount of security, but there was an awful lot of well-armed state troopers and it appeared that they were interviewing everybody who was coming through who had clearly been at the marathon," said Doug Minster.

Carli had been too close for comfort to the blasts during the marathon. "When we heard it, it sounded like thunder," she told FOX 8.

She works for a company that was one of the race's sponsors. "I work for John Hancock, so we were in the office building right around the corner from where it happened… The company had a lot of volunteers working but everyone was fine. They think there might be two people that were injured from the employee group," said Carli.

Some who arrived from Boston said they fully expect the city to rebound from the tragedy and they also expect the marathon to continue in years to come.

Here in New Orleans, Mayor Mitch Landrieu said the city has its guard up, given what occurred in Boston.

"It's a very difficult time for the country, but we all remain on alert," Landrieu said.

"We will follow any directives issued by the Department of Homeland Security. The airport continues to closely monitor the situation," said Louis Armstrong International Airport spokeswoman Michelle Wilcutt in a statement issued to FOX 8 News.

At the Port of New Orleans, security must always be first rate. A terrorist attack there would interrupt international commerce.

"62 percent of the consumer spending, the public counts on this port for their supply and demand," said Gary LaGrange, president and CEO of the Port of New Orleans.

So Monday night Harbor police and the port went on "standby" status.  "Which increases our alert level somewhat.  It's the first step towards a full declaration of emergency in the event that's required," said Harbor Police Chief Robert Hecker.

Harbor police have the responsibility of keeping the flow of cargo secure, as well as maintaining safety for port workers and visitors to the cruise terminals.

"Our obvious mission is crime prevention for the Port of New Orleans... have our eyes and ears open for anything that seems suspicious," continued Hecker.

"It's the type of thing that we're prepared on an ongoing basis for since 911," said LaGrange.

Chief Hecker said he reached out to his counterpart in Boston and offered any assistance needed.

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