Nassau officials are beefing up security like never before along the Long Island Marathon route, using high-tech gadgetry to detect radiation, K-9 units to sniff out explosives and a phalanx of extra officers to keep the peace during the weekend events from May 3 to 5.
"We have a lot of tools in the toolbox," said Nassau Police Insp. Kenneth Lack, referring to the use of technology and surveillance used for the marathon and other such events.
The race, to be held at the Mitchel Athletic Complex and other nearby sites, will kick off more than three weeks after two bombs were set off near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people and wounding more than 200.
Lack said there is no threat of an attack during the event and that the measures are being put in place as a precaution -- and a deterrent.
"In light of the tragic events that occurred at the Boston Marathon earlier this month, we have put forth enhanced security measures for the safety of the Long Island Marathon participants, spectators, and all members of our community," Nassau County Executive Mangano said in a news release. "I would also like to remind residents of our See Something Say Something Campaign, if something or someone seems out of place, please call 911."
Lack said the bombings during the Boston Marathon earlier this month prompted law enforcement and county officials to step up enforcement and to restrict movement of vehicles and the contents of bags that participants and spectators may carry. Suspicious and unattended packages and bags will be discarded or destroyed, officials said.
NEW SECURITY MEASURES
AUTOMOBILES. All vehicles at starting line and other staging areas must have credentials.
SCREENING. Police will have portable radiation detectors. Bags andbackpacks will be subject to K-9 explosive detection.
BAG CHECK. Bags will be inspected at the Sports and Fitness Expo on Friday, May 3 and Saturday, May 4.
CLOSURES. Participants should arrive early due to modified road closures at the start and finish and leave enough time for parking and travel to starting line.
RUNNERS ONLY. Only registered participants will be permitted into the marathon, half-marathon and 10K starting line area on Charles Lindbergh Boulevard.
CLEAR BAGS ONLY. Participants may only use clear bags at the baggage check. Clear bags will be provided by race officials at participant check-in.
FINISH LINE. Spectators may not bring bags into the finish line area in Eisenhower Park and participants should not stash personal items along the race route.