Mark Shapiro was keeping an eye on the news coverage out of Boston between meetings on Friday morning at Progressive Field. What the Indians president has watched, along with the rest of the country, has reinforced his desire to ensure Cleveland fans that they are safe at the ballpark. That promise to Indians fans is one of the driving forces behind the full-scale emergency excercise planned for Tuesday at Progressive Field. Shapiro stressed that the coming event is not a reaction to the terrorist events in Boston that have embroiled the nation. "The timing is coincidental," Shapiro said. "But probably, if anything, it emphasizes the importance of us being prepared at all times. We've always stressed a commitment to providing a safe environment for our fans. This is a continued extension of that effort." The Indians issued a press release Friday to inform the public that the event is only a drill. The City of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County and various emergency response agencies have been planning the exercise for approximately six months, and the press release was issued to warn the community that there will be no interruptions of safety services. The Indians have participated in this event once before at Progressive Field. The various emergency agencies used the venue to rehearse in 2001, and the city of Cleveland conducted a similar exercise last year at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport and the Port of Cleveland. The drills receive new relevance in the wake of the events in Boston, which began with a bombing at the Boston Marathon and continued with an unprecedented manhunt through the streets of the city. Shapiro said there would have been advance notice under normal circumstances, too. "It's important to understand that it's not a reaction," Shapiro said. "This is something six months in the planning. We've all attended meetings leading up to it. The only decisions -- in light of the events -- were: Do we postpone to assure people it's not a reaction? Do we alter the event with learning from the way things have been handled in Boston?"
Emergency drill set for Tuesday at Progressive Field
MLB.com | Apr 19