Security Tightened For Philadelphia Marathon In Wake Of Boston Bombings
By John McDevitt and Diana Rocco
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Boston Marathon bombings have Philadelphia making security enhancements for its marathon on Sunday.
Some of the measures will be noticeable. Others won’t be.
“We’re going to be covering this from air, land and sea. You may see us, you may not, but that doesn’t mean we’re not standing next to you,” Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Joe Sullivan said.
Organizers are asking runners to arrive on the parkway around 5 a.m. It’s expected to take 30 to 40 minutes to get through security check points. No back packs. Clear plastic bags are being supplied to participants.
“People should familiarize themselves if they are coming to the event where the screening points are, where the enter and exit points are, where those check points are going to be because you are not going to be allowed into the start finish area without going through those check points,” Mike Resnick, the city’s public safety director said.
Spectators will also go through check points and being asked to consider not bringing bags. Coolers are prohibited.
Sullivan says safety officials reached out to other major cities to develop security plans for Philadelphia’s 20th marathon.
“To look at their best practices, model ours after those and we are quite confident that we have every potential threat covered in some way. It’s quite an extensive plan,” Sullivan said.
Runners picking up their bibs and bags Friday are aware of the new regulations, but say they are not worried, but instead focused on the road ahead.
“That stuff is all around at any given moment. You have to focus on the race,” runner Tom Reisher of New Jersey said.
“You can’t let something like that stop you,” runner Joanne Roland of Chicago said.
Restaurants and hotels are full all weekend with more than 30,000 running and an expected 60,000 in the crowd.
With the Eagles game also on Sunday, police say it will be all hands on deck and they are looking for the public’s help. If you see something, say something.
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