Reporting Linh Bui
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Runners, take your mark. The Baltimore Running Festival is hours away, bringing tens of thousands of people to the city.
After the attacks in Boston earlier this year, extra security is tight.
Linh Bui explains how police officers are stepping it up.
Police won’t reveal many details about their plans, as they want to keep most of that information confidential. However, they do promise a significant increase in security.
In April, two bombs exploded at the Boston Marathon finish line, killing three people and injuring hundreds.
With the Baltimore Running Festival this weekend, police are not taking any chances.
“The security will be increased. There will be more officers deployed to this event. We’re very fortunate. Our local, state and federal partners are contributing a lot of resources,” said Lt. Col. Melissa Hyatt, Baltimore City Police Department.
For the past month, officers have been inspecting the course. Expect heightened security in high traffic areas, like Celebration Village near Camden Yards, where sponsors were setting up Friday.
“What better place than the Baltimore Running Festival?” asked Shantae Rollins, Musselman’s Applesauce.
Officers will also focus on the Inner Harbor, Patterson Park and Lake Montebello.
Spectators can only bring clear, plastic bags. No backpacks allowed. Same goes for runners. Bags will be searched and checked.
Festival founder, Lee Corrigan, also says the 80 cameras outside the stadium will monitor the event.
“The quest, if you will, is to be as prepared as possible,” he said.
Other security measures, you won’t even notice.
“There will also be a lot of other resources which won’t be seen by the general public, but will be there to ensure the safety and success of the event,” Hyatt said.
Security has gone up at races across the country. But that won’t stop the 27,000 runners expected Saturday.
“The one nice thing about runners is, it’s a resilient group. And they have a whole streak in them that says, ‘You’re not going to stop me! No matter what,’” said Corrigan.
There’s no official list of prohibited items. Obviously, weapons or anything dangerous will not be allowed inside.
Other agencies helping with security at the running festival include Maryland Transportation Authority Police, Baltimore City Sheriff’s Office and Baltimore City School Police.
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