Area police train to respond to potential terror attacks at large gatherings

Popole estimated in the thousands attended this past weekend's Barlow Fair, one of numerous local fairs and festivals attracting large crowds at this time of the year.

They're a plus for the area, economically-and, increasingly, a concern for local law enforcement organizations.

Members of the Parkersburg Police Department recently took part in an active shooter training exercise, the result of terrorist attacks of recent years.

"We do training as well locally to get ourselves acclimated to how we're going to respond to an active event like this," says Parkersburg Police Chief Joe Martin. "Not to that scale, but try to make it as realistic as we can."

Washington County recently got an Ohio Homeland Security grant for a K-9 who can detect explosives at a location where there are large gatherings.

"We have an officer, Jason Hall, who is in training as of (Monday) morning, with a new explosives detection dog, that will be strictly for those types of events," says Capt. Brian Rhodes, of the Washington County Sheriff's Office

But area police remind people who go to those events the best prevention is the public: people who keep an eye out for suspicious activity.