MASON CITY, Iowa- “I am taking precautions to protect myself, but I’m not willing to share what that is,” says Kathy Johnson and Nancy Bell of St. Ansgar. She isn’t alone, many people are worried about crowded events like Governor Mike Pence’s visit to mason City on Monday.
“I really didn’t have too much of a worry,” Johnson says. “I trust the law enforcement here, but I had to walk past a dumpster to get up here and it does make you think.”
Mason City Police Chief Jeff Brinkley says while the Music Man Square is a popular stop for candidates, they have been working with various agencies all weekend to ensure it would be a safe stop for everyone.
“We are a support agency with the Secret Service to provide security for the candidates when they’re on the campaign trail,” says Chief Brinkley. “We sit down with them and figure out where they’re at, the places they are going to be and how we can support them and provide for a safe event.”
With hundreds of people estimated to make a stop at the event, Chief Brinkley says there are things folks can do to make sure everything runs as smooth as possible.
“Typically they open the doors a couple hours ahead of start so if you can get here early; carry very little, bring your cell phone, your car keys and your wallet or whatever you need to just try to get by for this little stay,” he says.
So that folks like Kathy Johnson and Nancy Bell can hear the message of the candidates.
“We are hoping to hear words of encouragement,” Bell said. “We are looking froward to election day and praying for change.”