NYPD Beefing Up Security For New York City Marathon
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Hundreds of police officers will be posted along the route, police helicopters will patrol the skies and police boats will keep watch from New York Harbor and the East River.
The NYPD will be using radiation detection technology on the land and the water and access to the finish line will be restricted to credentialed people who will have to pass through screening before being allowed in, CBS 2 reported.
EXTRA: NYC Marathon Guide
“It will be tight,” Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said recently when asked about the race’s finish area in Central Park. “It always is tight, but obviously we’re going to pay particular attention to that this year.”
Along with officers watching the start and finish lines, 100 mobile security cameras have been brought in to keep an eye out for anything suspicious along the route.
“I think we’ve got a sound plan, but it always requires some adjustments, and that’s what we’re in the process of doing now,” Kelly said.
Runner Angel Santiago and his training partner may lose some sleep the night before the race but it will be because of excitement, not security concerns.
“I know New York is gonna be ready for it,” Santiago told CBS 2′s Andrea Grymes.
Marathon organizer New York Road Runners has said organizers considered banning bags from the bleachers around the finish area, but ruled it out as impractical because spectators needed to carry clothing and provisions for themselves and the runners they plan to meet afterward.
Instead, they’re encouraging spectators to bring only one bag per person, no larger than the size of a purse. Organizers remain optimistic about security at the event.
“We feel secure. We feel good about this. We’re really looking forward to an event that everyone can enjoy,” Kerin Hempel, New York Road Runners, said.
Spectators also can expect to encounter barriers around the finish line, with entry only through checkpoints where bags will be searched. Similar checkpoints will be set up elsewhere along the route.
The attack in Boston killed three people and injured more than 260 when two homemade bombs detonated near the finish line.
To honor the victims and first responders of the attack, a yellow line is being painted alongside the traditional blue line on the course.
Yellow is one of the colors used in the Boston Marathon. It stretches from Columbus Circle to the finish line in Central Park.
About 45,000 runners participate in the marathon. The 26.2-mile course, which winds through the city’s five boroughs, was sidelined last year by superstorm Sandy.
Out of the field of 47,000 runners, 21,000 took the offer to return after last year’s cancellation.
“No hard feelings,” James Doudy, who made the trip again from New Zealand, told WCBS 880′s Marla Diamond. “There was people that were really really in need, so I could understand the decision. It was just unfortunate.”
“I think once people get there, it’s all on,” added Kate Gallagher, of New York City. “You’re at one of the biggest starting lines in the world.”
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