NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Sports

March 10, 2014

Police seek security balance for Boston Marathon

(Continued)

“Spectators should expect that they may be channeled through security screening points at different places as they get closer to the course,” said Kurt Schwartz, director of the state Emergency Management Agency.

Police in each of the eight cities and towns along the course have been beefing up their own security plans and coordinating efforts with one another.

In Hopkinton, town officials are scrutinizing vendors more carefully. When they realized that some have sold toy guns in past years, they banned their sale.

In Ashland, police are trying to strike a balance between safety and maintaining the closeness residents have with the runners.

“It’s an open event, so I think it would be impractical to tell people who are standing on the roadway in front of their houses that they can’t have a backpack or container on their front lawn,” said Police Chief Craig Davis. “There’s obviously going to be enhanced security, checking, examining those areas and containers.”

In Wellesley, the marathon’s halfway point, police will have more officers along the course, but they don’t plan to try to stop a favorite marathon tradition: a line of Wellesley College students kissing and hugging runners.

“We’re not planning on raining on their parade at all,” said Deputy Police Chief Jack Pilecki. “We just want to keep them safe — and everyone else.”

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