Boston amps up security in anticipation of Monday's marathon

Boston amps up security in anticipation of Monday's marathon

Credit: Getty Images

Special Operations Transit Police patrol the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 20, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts.


by Associated Press

Posted on April 20, 2014 at 3:40 PM

Updated Sunday, Apr 20 at 3:42 PM

BOSTON - Families celebrating Easter contrasted with tight security checks as Boston welcomed tens of thousands of runners and hundreds of thousands of spectators for the annual marathon.

Diners gathered at sidewalk cafes and runners in their official jackets picked up last-minute supplies on Sunday, the day before the 26.2-mile race.

Gisele Goldstein, of Germantown, Tenn., planned to run her 12th Boston Marathon Monday. She said the day was marked by sadness a year after pressure cooker bombs killed three people and injured more than 260 others.

She said an alarm that went off Friday at a runners expo spooked people. It was a test.

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and a congressional leader say security will be tight as thousands of runners and hundreds of thousands of spectators crowd Boston's streets for the annual Marathon.

Patrick tells CBS' "Face the Nation" that Boston may be the safest place in America on Monday.

The governor says officials are striking a balance between more security and maintaining the city's festive spirit.

Patrick won't specify the steps being taken to boost security, but says there will be a "considerably more police presence."

Rep. Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, tells ABC's "This Week" that cameras, police, police dogs and bomb detecting equipment will make Boston "well-fortified."

McCaul, a Republican from Texas, says he is concerned about the possibility of a copycat attack.

Some of the security measures in place for the 118th running of the Boston Marathon on Monday:

— More than 3,500 police officers

— double the usual number

— will be out along the 26.2-mile course, including undercover officers with special training.

— At least 100 strategically positioned video cameras will monitor the crowds.

— Spectators are asked to carry their belongings in clear plastic bags instead of backpacks.

— Spectators who do bring backpacks will be subject to a search.

— Coolers, quilts and other bulky items are discouraged.

— Security will be especially tight close to the finish line.

— More than 50 observation points will be set up near the finish line to monitor the crowd.

— Unregistered runners known as bandits won't be allowed to participate.