Security tightened after Boston Marathon return on Patriots Day

BOSTON ( Associated Press) – The Boston Marathon returns for the first time in three years over the Patriots Day holiday next week and runners and spectators must prepare for heavy security, the city’s top law enforcement official said Tuesday.

In addition to highly visible uniformed officers, officers in plainclothes will be scattered throughout the crowd, Chief Superintendent and Acting Commissioner Gregory Long said at the City Hall news conference.

He said there is no known credible threat to the race. It’s been nine years since two bombs exploded at the finish line, killing three and injuring more than 260.

“The Boston Police Department has developed a robust and comprehensive security plan in an effort to provide safety to runners, spectators and all visitors to the City of Boston,” he said.

Monday’s 126th Boston Marathon is the first since 2019 to be held on Patriots Day but comes nearly six months after the 2021 race, which was postponed until October due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s unprecedented to hold two Boston Marathons in just six months,” said Boston Athletic Association chief executive Thomas Grilk.

He said that about 30,000 runners are expected to participate, investing about $200 million in the region’s economy.

Mayor Michelle Wu said, “The marathon has always been about community, coming together, showing, persevering, moving forward in the face of hatred and division, fear or violence, no matter what comes our way.”

Wu also noted that 2022 marks the 50th anniversary of the first time women officially entered, although women participated without registering prior to 1972.

The news conference was briefly interrupted by protesters protesting Wu’s city activist vaccine mandate, who whistled and shouted “Shame on Wu”.

In addition to heavy police presence, cameras are being installed along the route and observation points will be set up near the finish line area to keep an eye on the crowd, Long said.

The bag will be searched, he said.

He called upon the public to be vigilant. “If you see something, no matter how small, something that doesn’t seem right or something unusual,” call 911 or find an officer nearby, he said.

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