As April 15th approaches, we as a nation recall with sorrow last year's Boston Marathon bombings, which killed three and injured over two hundred others. This year, Boston city officials are strengthening security presence and introducing more strident safety measures to help prevent such a tragedy from happening again, reports Boston.com.
Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Boston Police Commissioner William Evans outlined the improvements at a City Hall press conference on Saturday.
Commissioner Evans said, as is to be expected, that there would be "some uniform presence" but they also intend to "really increase the undercover officers working." There will also be checkpoints throughout the area of the marathon.
Police will be monitoring crowd capacity in areas to prevent potentially unmanageable and dangerous "gridlock of people." They are also heavily discouraging, though not banning, "backpacks, baby strollers, anything bulky that will make our job a little more difficult" in order to reduce bomb threats.
Over 100 cameras along the route have also been installed to monitor threats in addition to having officers on the ground.
Evans asked citizens to follow the rule of "see something, say something." Anyone who sees suspicious activity can call 911 or text "Boston" to 69050.
"Since 4/15 things have changed, you know, they really have, but the goal is to make it a safe, family day," Commissioner Evans assured.
Boston Emergency Management Services Commissioner James Hooley also joined the conference to add that there would be extra ambulances and medical tents. He assured that all departments had "coordinated [...] to ensure a rapid response to any situation."
Boston Transportation Department Commissioner James Gillooly noted that there would be road closures during the marathon. However, he emphasized that they very much want to "encourage people to use the T, use public transit" despite some altered routes and out-of-service stops.
Mayor Martin J. Walsh finished the conference on a hopeful note, praising the marathon as a "showcase of our city's best qualities." In spite of the painful past, Bostonians can be confident that the marathon's tradition will press on.
Image via Wikimedia Commons