Society

NYC Marathon's Tightened Security Includes Scuba Divers, Bomb-Sniffing Dogs

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing in April, the New York City Marathon on Sunday will be monitored by bomb-sniffing dogs, police scuba divers and surveillance helicopters.

Hundreds of cameras are covering nearly every inch of 26.2 mile route, including footage from above and from vans on the street, according to Reuters.

The NYPD is taking a lesson from authorities in Boston who eventually identified their bombing suspects through surveillance footage. Thousands of police officers will patrol the route and 43 bomb sniffing dogs will be deployed.

"We are well equipped and well deployed," said Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly.

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Kelly said the NYPD began this strategy the day after the April 15 bombing Boston Marathon, which killed three people and injured 264.

Runners and spectators can expect to additional screenings like bag searches.

“This will be the best-protected race that they can enter,” Kelly told runners in a statement. “There are no guarantees in our post-9/11 world, but we’re doing everything we reasonably can to protect the runners and the spectators and have this be a safe and enjoyable event.”

No threats to the 43rd annual New York City Marathon have been identified.

Race organizer New York Road Runners spent $1 million on security consultation, which led to the decision to ban runners from using backpacks, masks, vests with large pockets, CamelBaks, and water-filled backpacks with drinking tubes. Spectators can’t carry large packages and rolled up blankets must be carried unfurled.

President and chief executive of New York Road Runners Mary Wittenberg told the Times that the group held 20 races since the Boston bombings without incident.

“Everybody has been very happy with the level of security and the enhanced plan,” Wittenberg said. “And we are just so close to the starting line and committed to a great day.”

Sources: New York Times, Reuters