TIME Crime

Boston is Amping Up Security for Marathon

Kurt Schwartz
Elise Amendola—AP Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency Director Kurt Schwartz speaks during a news conference in Framingham, Mass., on March 10, 2014.

Marathon officials announce sweeping security precautions ahead of next month's race, including more than double the number of police officers who were stationed there last year, when two deadly explosions rocked the finish line

With an anticipated one million people expected to gather at the finish line of the 2014 Boston Marathon, exactly where two bombs went off killing three and injuring more than 260 last year, law enforcement officials said Monday that they are tightening security around what will be a very symbolic race.

More than 3,500 police officers, double the 2013 presence, will be present at the race to protect supporters and runners alike, the New York Times reports. Some 36,000 people will be running the race, which is up 9,000 from last year. Twice the usual number of spectators are expected.

Here are some of the precautions that officials announced they would be taking for the April 21 marathon. Plans were made by public safety officials from around the world and the eight towns and cities along the marathon’s course:

  • Spectators are strongly discouraged from wearing vests with large pockets and bringing strollers, backpacks, coolers, and other large bags. Rather they are being asked to keep all items in clear plastic bags.
  • Anyone who does bring a large bag will be subject to search.
  • “Bandits” — also known as unregistered runners who join in the race at random intervals — will be strictly prohibited from the marathon.
  • Spectators and runners alike can only bring one liter of liquid.
  • People can’t wear cumbersome costumes or cover their face.
  • The doubled security force will include private security officers and plainclothes officers. The force will be complemented by hundreds of surveillance cameras, bomb sniffing dogs and security checkpoints.

“We have to get this right 110 percent of the time,” Boston FBI agent Kieran L. Ramsey said, according to the Times. “The bad guys only have to get lucky once.”

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