PORTLAND -- Extra police were on hand to ensure a safe Christmas tree lighting event Friday evening, a year after a man was arrested for plotting to bomb the annual event.
"Pioneer Courthouse Square at the time of the tree lighting will be safe for all in attendance," said Lt. Robert King of the Portland Police Bureau.
During last year's event Federal agents arrested a Somali teen as he tried to blow up a van he thought was loaded with explosives. The bomb was a fake supplied by agents and the crowd was not in danger, authorities said.
The suspect , 19-year-old Mohamed Osman Mohamud, remained in jail on terrorism charges. His trial was set to begin May 15.
Background: Portland tree lighting bomb plot
Occupy Portland supporters and others planned to meet for a candlelight vigil at the square Friday afternoon "to serve as a reminder of the great harms derived from excessive materialism, greed, and non-caring," a statement announced.
But King said Portland police would be prepared.
"There will be a significant number of officers working throughout the course of the day," he said, "some obvious and visible, and some officers held in reserve."
"Given our recent experience with 'Occupy,'" he added, "it's better for us to be prepared and have resources on hand."