This year marks the fifth anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings. With the annual event taking place in a little under two weeks, the city is tightening security, even though no known threats have been posed.
“At this point in time, I can tell you neither the FBI, other U.S. government agencies or our state and local law enforcement partners are aware of any specific, active or credible threats directed at this year’s marathon,” said Harold Shaw, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Boston office.
In 2013, two bombs planted near the finish line wounded 260 spectators and killed three people. Each year since has seen a slew of new security measures being put in place to keep runners and spectators safe. And with the recent mass shootings in the US and vehicles used to drive into crowds, the city and law enforcement aren’t taking any chances.
For the 122nd race, around 5,000 uniformed and undercover police officers, bomb- and chemical-sniffing dogs, surveillance drones and heavy trucks blocking streets will be some of the measures taken to protect civilians. Local police will also be stationed on rooftops near the marathon route according to Boston Police Superintendent Bill Ridge.
The public is also being asked to be aware of their surroundings and diligent in alerting law enforcement of any suspicious activities. “We cannot become complacent,” said Transit Police Chief Kenneth Green. “We are asking our riders and our employees to be our second set of eyes. Nothing is too small.”
If you’re planning on attending the race, check out the restricted list below before heading out:
- Weapons or items of any kind that may be used as weapons, including firearms, knives, mace, etc.
- Backpacks or any similar item carried over the shoulder.
- Suitcases and rolling bags/rollers.
- Glass containers or cans.
- Flammable liquids, fuels, fireworks or explosives.
- Any container capable of carrying more than 1 liter of liquid.
- Handbags or packages or bulky items larger than 12 inches x 12 inches x 6 inches.
- Large blankets/comforters, duvets, sleeping bags.
- Costumes covering the face or any non-form fitting, bulky outfits extending beyond the perimeter of the body.
- Props (including sporting equipment and military and fire gear).
The event, which features over 30,000 runners and attracts around 500,000 spectators a year, is set to take place on April 16 with the first wave at 8:40 a.m. EST. Read more information on how and where to watch the marathon in person or via TV here.