In wake of last year’s attack, the 2014 Boston Marathon will feature an increase in security measures, including the addition of 3,500 police officers.
Other security measures put in place for this year’s marathon will be additional plainclothes officers, security checkpoints, bomb-sniffing dogs and video surveillance throughout the course.
While runners will be able to use fanny packs or belts to hold water or other hydration products, director of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency Kurt Schwartz is discouraging non-runners in attendance from bringing backpacks or other bags to the event. If brought, the bags will be subject to a search, Schwartz said, according to ESPN Boston.
The addition of such increased efforts matches a massive increase in participants. This year, 36,000 runners (9,000 more than last year) are scheduled to run. The increase prompted the Boston Athletic Association to opt for a tougher stance on “bandits,” or runners who sneak onto the course without registering for the race.
“This course is at capacity this year and it’s just common sense for bandits to stay off the course,” Schwartz said.
Despite the additional security measures this year, authorities will rely heavily on the public to act as the first line of security and to report any suspicious behavior they might see.
“The primary goal is to preserve the traditional feel and character of the Boston Marathon,” Schwartz said.