Two years after the Boston Marathon bombing, city officials say they are prepared to host a secure Boston Marathon. In a press conference on 17 April, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh and Police Commissioner Bill Evans highlighted the public safety plan for this year's race.
"We're looking forward to a great Marathon Monday. The Marathon is a major international athletic contest. It's also a celebration of all we love about Boston and what we want to share with the world," Mayor Walsh said.
Walsh continued, "Our approach this year is very similar to last year. We have significant resources and personnel out there to protect our public." The mayor highlighted the collaboration by the city with Boston Police Department, Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency and the city's Transportation Department.
The 48-year-old mayor said spectators should rest assured that the increase in security would not change the marathon's "positive environment" that they are used to. "We're asking for everyone's cooperation to make this a great day. This is a family-friendly event, where Boston shows its best face to the world," he said.
Undercover officers and sniffer dogs deployed
Meanwhile, Commissioner Evans encourage spectators and anyone coming into Boston to arrive early and to make use of public transportation. "If everyone can get to where they have to get early, we appreciate that," Evans said. "Obviously we're encouraging everybody to take public transport. You're better off and you know, everyone can move around the city on the T."
According to Evans, Boston Police will have undercover officers and bomb-sniffing dogs patrolling the marathon's route. "It's a plan that worked very well last year and we anticipate it working well," Evans said. He added that there will be enhanced security checkpoints throughout the 26-mile route and that spectators may be subjected to searches.
Spectators are encouraged not to bring large items, such as backpacks, large bags and coolers, the commissioner said. While these items are not banned, spectators who bring them may be searched.
A statement released by the mayor's office revealed that the Boston portion of the Marathon will be monitored by over 100 cameras and that the Marathon's finish line will have up to 50 observation points. Commissioner Evans disclosed that the city will also employ anti-drone technology to monitor the race's route. However, he said he does not expect to have to use the drone technology.
Several streets throughout the city will be closed, beginning on 18 April, Commissioner Gina Fiandaca of the Boston Transportation Department said. Fiandaca also encouraged visitors to use the MBTA to travel to and around the city on Marathon weekend.