Enhanced Boston Marathon Security Includes Doubled Police Presence Along Route
The enhanced security plan for the April 21 Boston Marathon includes "checkpoints, restricted areas" and an "added police presence," according to O'Ryan Johnson of the BOSTON HERALD. Details were announced yesterday by Massachusetts state police and the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency yesterday, and officials said that the number of police along the route leading into the city "will be doubled this year, with state, local and federal authorities bearing the cost of added security." The plan also will involve "several federal agencies, including the FBI and Secret Service." Boston Municipal Research Bureau Dir Sam Tyler said that the city traditionally "bears most of the cost of security with some funds coming from the Boston Athletic Association, which hosts the event." He added that this year, an "annual federal grant managed by Boston Emergency Management ballooned" from $13M to $24M, and that some of the increase "could be used to offset that cost" (BOSTON HERALD, 3/11). In Boston, Maria Cramer notes with "at least 1 million people expected along the route, twice the number of spectators as in the past, police are discouraging spectators from wearing backpacks, hauling coolers, or carrying containers that hold more than a liter of liquid." While spectators are "not prohibited from bringing certain objects," officials said that they are "discouraging those items because they could be used to conceal weapons." Officials said that to "avoid being searched, spectators should bring their belongings in clear, plastic bags." Boston Police Commissioner William Evans said that police "do not plan to use metal-detection wands or force spectators to file through security lines." The plan is to have "a more laid-back approach, setting up metal barriers at intersections along Boylston Street near the finish line but allowing people to pass unless that area gets too congested" (BOSTON GLOBE, 3/11).