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Officials Announce Heightened Security Measures For Belmont Stakes

Race To Be Held Saturday On Long Island
Racing at Belmont Park. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Racing at Belmont Park. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

GARDEN CITY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – The security will be tighter than ever at this weekend’s Belmont Stakes in Elmont, Long Island.

The new rules announced Thursday ban backpacks, coolers, luggage and large bags from going beyond the parking lot of the race track. Food items must be in plastic see-through containers, police announced.

Only small bags will be permitted inside the gates, and those will be subject to screening, said Kirby. And officials announced tailgating will not be allowed, 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reported.

“This year, there will be more police assigned to the event. We’ll be working with the New York State Police, New York city Police Department as well as the FBI,” Nassau County Police Chief of Patrol Frank Kirby told reporters including WCBS 880′s Sophia Hall.

EXTRA: A Guide To The Belmont Stakes | Full List Of Banned Items

Law enforcement officials will use radiation detection systems and digital cameras.

“The department will deploy a sky tower to keep a watchful eye over the picnic area,” said Kirby.

He added that all spectators play a role in the security effort.

“And we remind you as we remind you at all these events for the public and for everyone: if you see something, say something. If you see something, call 911,” Kirby said.

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano was joined by police, tourism and racing officials to discuss the plans during a Thursday news conference at the Garden City Hotel.

The heightened security measures are in response to the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15 that left three people dead and more than 260 injured.

The attacks prompted cities to reevaluate security plans for major events. Last month, Nassau County officials had bomb-sniffing dogs, security checkpoints and a heightened police presence at the Long Island Marathon.

The 145th Belmont Stakes will take place on Saturday.

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