Security is a Concern for the New York Marathon

Published: Nov 01, 2013 16:29pm EDT
By Lance Rinker, Managing Editor for Konsume Sports

Please Note: This article was updated Nov 01, 2013 @ 04:29pm EDT


The New York Marathon is set to take place this Sunday with more than 48,000 runners expected to participate. Runners will be racing along a winding, 42-kilometer route that manages to touch every New York City borough. The marathon was canceled last year because of Superstorm Sandy and this year’s marathon is likely to have a slightly different feel to it than in years past.

New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said that in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings the NYPD immediately began to reevaluate its security. While no threats have been made the NYPD and Police Commissioner are not taking any chances.

Security will be beefed up exponentially, with thousands of police officers stationed along the 42-kilometer route, and police will be searching bags and using sniffer dogs along the start and finish lines. The anti-terrorism operation at Sunday’s marathon in New York City will be the largest ever carried out across five boroughs and police are treating the marathon as a potential terrorist target.

In addition to the sniffer dogs and police stationed all along the route, new tactics will be rolled out for this event including high-tech explosives detection equipment, police boats and divers stationed along the city’s waterways, thousands of private security workers, plainclothes law enforcement agents, and of course some very intensive video surveillance.

One thing spectators will want to take notice of is that no bags, backpacks, or large hydration packs will be permitted at the event. If you bring a bag then all of its contents will be subjected to an intrusive search and you will be given a clear draw string bag to transfer the contents into if you insist on carrying anything around with you.

Even though the enhanced security may be viewed by some as a hassle, in light of the events at the Boston Marathon in April of this year it certainly makes sense why New York is going all out. The Police Commissioner is determined to not allow anyone to cause greater devastation than what was caused in Boston.

Three people were killed and an estimated 264 were injured when two homemade pressure cooker bombs were detonated a mere 13 seconds and 210 yards apart from one another. The bombs were filled with metal objects slightly larger than BB’s, and small nails typically used in carpentry work that were up to an inch long. Doctors estimated that at least 16 people lost at least one limb, either by being completely blown off during the explosion or due to amputation at the hospital.

What was most concerning to authorities in regards to this style and method of attack is that they received no warnings or credible threats before-hand. The individuals involved were brothers and had no direct ties to any terrorist organization. They seemingly acted on their own because they had adopted radicalized Islamic beliefs as their own and did not appreciate the way the United States was handling relations with Islamic extremists abroad.

That is what New York City and all those involved in the security of the event are trying to avoid, because attacks like those do not register on terrorist alert systems or anything similar to it. 


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