Rhode Island, Mass. venues ramping up security after Manchester attack

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The general manager of the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence says the venue is holding meetings throughout the day Tuesday following Monday night’s deadly attack on a Manchester concert arena.

“One of the things that we see is that as we heighten security and tighten the perimeter of our buildings — we push terrorists outside,” said Larry Lepore, the general manager for the Dunk and the Rhode Island Convention Center.

Though some 3,000 miles separate the two venues, the Dunk has a connection to the Manchester Arena; both are operated by a company called SMG.

Lepore said increased security inside the venue means terrorists are targeting the outside. Police say the bomber in Manchester exploded his device outside of the arena, and never attempted to get inside.

“At every event, we use metal detectors, we do bag checks, we have bomb dogs go through — but again, as our security increases, it makes targets around the perimeter much more attractive to a terrorist, and those are the toughest areas to secure and control,” Lepore said.

He said information shared by SMG from England would help the Providence venues and others around the world become more secure.

In Mansfield, Mass., the Xfinity Center is holding its first concert of the summer season Tuesday night, and police are increasing security.

“In the wake of a suspected terrorist bombing at the Manchester Arena, we here at the Mansfield Police department will be elevating our security posture at the Xfinity Center to better protect the patrons, staff and public safety personnel,” Chief Ron Sellon told Eyewitness News.

The chief said his team is constantly fine-tuning its operations plan for the Xfinity Center in light of terrorist attacks around the globe. He declined to disclose how many police officers will be present tonight, but said both uniform and non-uniform officers are usually in attendance at events along with FBI agents.

Mansfield Police also rely on the assistance of a state police dog that specializes in explosives and sweeps the entrances and exits.

Chief Sellon said his department tries not to be reactionary to individual events, but instead constantly refines its procedures as they learn information. He said parents should feel assured that their children attending Tuesday night’s concert will be safe.

Rosie Woods contributed to this report.