Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

April 16 2013

Statement from James E. Rooney, Executive Director, Massachusetts Convention Center Authority

By Massachusetts Convention Center Authority

UPDATED 3 p.m. Tuesday, April 16, 2013

As the investigation and recovery continues into the Boston Marathon bombing, we wanted to offer a quick update to our friends and clients on the situation on the ground.

  • A host of Massachusetts law enforcement officials and political leaders, including the mayor, the governor, and the state’s two US senators, appeared at a news conference this afternoon, saying that, contrary to rumors and reports on Monday, no other explosive devices had been found on Monday. Investigators also said “there are no known additional threats.”
  • A major investigation is underway, with local and state authorities getting the full backing of the federal government, including the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
  • “We want people to come and go. We want you to live your life,” said Boston Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis. But at the same time, he said, “We want you to be vigilant ... give us a little room in the Copley Square area.”
  • Flights into and out of Boston Logan International Airport continue to operate within an enhanced security presence in the terminals.

Again, at 3 p.m. this afternoon, the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association Annual Meeting at the Hynes, with about 2,000 attendees, is scheduled to take place starting Wednesday evening. The event is scheduled to run through Friday. The Hynes is open but only accessible from the entrance inside the Prudential Center, and all hotels surrounding the Hynes are open.

At the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, which is some distance from the Hynes, the Experimental Biology 2013 Annual Meeting is also scheduled to take place starting Saturday, April 20.

With all this in mind, and in light of the ongoing investigation, the MCCA will increase security and security checks at all of our facilities.

  • Access to the Hynes can be gained through the entrance in the Prudential Center.
  • All of our facilities were swept by K-9 units overnight. These sweeps, already a component of our security protocol, will be conducted more frequently on an unannounced basis in the coming months.
  • All those entering the MCCA facilities (BCEC & Hynes) without a valid ID will be approached regarding their purpose in the facility.
  • All employees, contractors, exhibitors, and attendees will be asked to properly display their badges at all times.
  • Visitors entering the Hynes will be subject to bag searches.
  • Vehicles entering both the Hynes and BCEC via the loading docks will be subject to search.

At the MCCA, our 155 full-time and part-time public safety officers are trained to respond to various emergency procedures under the National Incident Management System, which is the national standard. Our facilities have 400 digital cameras that are monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and we use Department of Homeland Security freight-screening equipment. We also have a close, working relationship with Boston Police, Massachusetts State Police, and a host of other state and federal agencies.

The safety of our facilities, and the well-being of our events and our clients, are paramount and will remain so. Again, nothing, today or in the future, is more important to us.