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Sheriff’s department welcomes runners back

Flags are at half-staff at the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department and Government Center where Commander Randy Pentis and Homeland Security administrator Susan Duenas work.

They took Monday off to run in the Boston Marathon.

Duenas was picking up her medal when the first bomb went off. She thought it was thunder at first.

Duenas has family living and Boston and she found them safe near the finish line. Before flying home Wednesday, Duenas talked to her Boston peers. She said the focus has been on assessing risks. She believed that the marathon bombing shows the importance of keeping capabilites strong.

Randy Pentis was two miles away from finishing his third Boston marathon when police stopped the race. Pentis was running for a Boston police charity to help children with cancer. He offered to help and ended up controlling runner traffic. Pentis directed runners down side streets where buses could safely pick them up.

Pentis has run for charity in China, Russia and Tunisia without a problem. He said he never expected a bombing at a race in the U.S.

The commander, who serves as the Chief of Police in Thousand Oaks, said he can’t stop thinking of the 8-year-old boy killed.

Both Pentis and Duenas plan to run in Boston again next year.

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