October 11, 2013
The events of 9/11 changed the planning and security configuration of every large gathering or public event in this country. From professional and collegiate sporting events to airports to concerts to holiday celebrations, any place where people gathered in large numbers, security provisions were implemented was enhanced far differently and more comprehensively, post 9/11. This was particularly true in Massachusetts with two annual events; the Boston Marathon and the Boston 4th of July Celebration. Despite robust security planning and enhanced technology that had been implemented in both of those events, on April 15, 2013, two improvised explosive devices were placed among gathering spectators on Boylston Street in Boston causing the death of three and injuries to hundreds. What does this mean to the future of open air public events in this country? Can risk ever be reduced to “zero”? What new measures were put in place to mitigate these same security concerns for the Boston Fourth Celebration just 3 months later? How might technology, human intelligence and a new level of public situational awareness combine to help us be better prepared?
Colonel Timothy P. Alben is presently in his 31st year of service with the Massachusetts State Police and was appointed to the position of Colonel/Superintendent by Governor Deval Patrick on July 13, 2012. Prior to appointment as Superintendent, Alben held a number of command level assignments within the department, including Command of the Tactical Operations Section before becoming the department’s Commander of the Division of Field Services, the largest organizational entity within the State Police. In addition to command level experience, Alben spent 16 years within the Division of Investigative Services, including three years assigned to the Hampden County District Attorney's Office as a violent crime investigator and 13 years as a supervisor and coordinator of organized crime investigations in Western Massachusetts with the Special Service Section.
Since 2003, Colonel Alben has occupied a leadership role in security planning and law enforcements deployments for an assortment of major events in the greater Boston area including the 2004 Democratic National Convention, Sail Boston, Boston professional sports post championship celebrations and significant, annual large events including the Boston Marathon and Boston 4th Celebrations. Colonel Alben currently serves as an advisor on the executive board of the State & Provincial Division of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. Colonel Alben has attained a Master’s Degree in Security Studies from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California; a Master’s in Criminal Justice from Western New England University; and a bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Westfield State College. Colonel Alben is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. He has held a number of advisory positions on national and regional Homeland Security panels and boards.