Security preparations underway ahead of races in Darlington -, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Security preps underway ahead of Darlington weekend races

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DARLINGTON, SC (WMBF) - Thousands of fans are expected to fill the stands at Darlington Raceway this weekend when NASCAR rolls into town.

If you are one of those fans, the last thing you might want to worry about is your safety at the track. That is why security has been a top focus for race organizers leading up to this weekend.

More than 200 security personnel from several different agencies will be out working the races Friday and Saturday, said Darlington Raceway President Chris Browning.

"We'll have members from the Darlington County Sheriff's Department, SLED, FBI, and Homeland Security," Browning said. "It's really a multi-group effort."

Browning said his security team at the raceway revisited security procedures after the recent bombings at the Boston Marathon.

"We had a couple of more meetings after the Boston incident but it was just more or less examining what was learned there and if that could be applied here."

Darlington Raceway also hired several private security companies for extra officers this weekend that could help check bags, cars, and do other security tasks.

In South Carolina, those officers only need to complete a four hour training course to become certified. However, Phil Purpura at Florence Darlington Technical College said many companies require officers to go above and beyond the mandatory four hour course.

"They provide more information to different officers especially for different venues whether it's a race, football game, retail store, manufacturing concern or whatever," Purpura said.

Purpura works in the program that trains the teachers that will eventually train future security officers.

"These people are trained to look for certain things and certain behaviors," Purpura said.

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