BOSTON, March 10 (UPI) -- Organizers of the Boston Marathon announced enhanced security for April's race in response to the twin bombings that killed three people and injured hundreds last year.
At a joint press conference Monday, police officials and Boston Athletic Association representatives detailed their "ambitious" security measures that include prohibitions on carrying bags near the race route and increased camera coverage.
“If you are coming to the marathon, please, please do not carry backpacks or over-the-shoulder bags…and please do not wear costumes or masks,” said Kurt Schwartz, Director of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency. “These simple guidelines will comfort people [at the marathon], particularly in crowded, dense areas, and will help ensure the safety of the event.”
Spectators along the race round will be asked to carry personal belongings in clear bags and people may need to pass through screening checkpoints to get to certain areas of the course.
Schartz said as many as 3,500 officers will be stationed along the route, including specially trained plainclothes officers, as well as real-time monitoring of surveillance footage.
“We are greatly enhancing efforts to actively monitor cameras and use information to respond to any type of suspicious conduct or behavior,” Schwartz said.
Other, previously announced changes include bans on certain kinds of signs and bags, as well as military "ruck marchers," cyclists and other unregistered participants.