Security heightened at many potential 'soft targets' for terrorist attacks in Tampa Bay

Have a plan, but still live the way you want to

TAMPA - Potential targets for terrorist attacks right here in the Bay Area can be vulnerable. Venues, stadiums and amusement parks are increasing security measures after Friday night's tragic attacks in Paris.

Many potential "soft targets," like Busch Gardens, Amalie Arena and the Straz Center said they've upped security -- but a security expert said it's not just arenas and stadiums that could be at risk.

For some on Beach Drive in St. Pete, a stroll or a snack now comes with second thoughts after the deadly attacks in Paris just days ago.

"It does bring a scare, or a sort of fear... How can I protect myself and my family?" said Shirley Demps.

Craig Gundry with Critical Intervention Services specializes in protection. He said anyplace people gather is a potential "soft target", and we have many in Tampa Bay.

"Targeting places like restaurants, night clubs, public sporting venues... These are things that the average person identifies with, and if the goal of the terrorist is to inject fear into the population, those are hugely successful venues to do this type of thing," Gundry said.

He said don't stop living freely, but have a plan in case of emergency.

"Run, hide, fight. And that's actually pretty solid advice when you recognize a potential threat. Get out of the environment as quickly as possible," Gundry said.

As a state and a country, Representative David Jolly said our condolences for victims of terror aren't enough.

"We don't get to choose our threats. We can only choose how we respond. Nobody wants to embrace conflict, but the truth is we are either going to protect our way of life in the United States, or we are not," Jolly said.

The security expert we spoke with also said to look for one or two exits wherever you are, have a plan, but still live the way you want to.


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