BOSTON, March 10 (UPI) -- Tighter restrictions for this year's Boston Marathons are meant to help reduce the risk to runners and spectators, police said.
"In this world, you never eliminate risk. You never bring it down to zero. But we are working very hard at reducing the risk," Massachusetts State Police Colonel Timothy Alben said Monday.
The more stringent restrictions came as officials prepare for the first running of the marathon since the two bombs went off last year near the finish line, killing three people and injuring more than 260 others, the Boston Globe reported.
State officials also said more than 3,500 police officers would be stationed along the race route, more than double the number last year. The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency also asked spectators to be alert and report suspicious conduct or items to the nearest police officer.
Spectators approaching or in viewing areas may be asked to clear security checkpoints, and police or security personnel may ask to inspect bags and other items, the Globe said.
"In all cases, spectators should keep their personal items under their immediate control at all times," the officials said. "Unattended items may cause delays."
The officials also reiterated that "bandit" runners, those who aren't officially entered in the marathon, won't be allowed to run this year.
No one without an invitation from Boston Athletic Association, which organizes the marathon, will be allowed in the grandstand, and all entering will be subject to security screening, the Globe said. Also, no one without an official race bib will be allowed in the Athletes' Village.
"We are confident that the overall experience with runners and spectators will not be impacted and all will enjoy a fun, festive and family-oriented day," Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency Director Kurt Schwartz said, adding race officials and law enforcement were "confident" the overall experience for runners and spectators would not be impacted by the heightened security measures, the (Springfield) Republican said.
"We are really focused on prevention, the best thing we can do is prevent something bad from happening," Schwartz said.