Hundreds of counterterrorism officers will be along the route
Officials say 50,000 runners and 2.5 million spectators are expected
Federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies are ramping up security for the TCS New York City Marathon that is set to go on as planned Sunday in the wake of the worst terrorist attack to hit the city since September 11, 2001.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday that “out of an abundance of caution, we are stepping up security measures at the NYC Marathon with resources from state law enforcement agencies.”
There are no credible and specific threats against the marathon or the city, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday.
Authorities are focusing on security after an ISIS-inspired terrorist drove a truck down a Manhattan bike path near the World Trade Center on Halloween, killing eight people and wounding more than a dozen others.
A record number of city sand trucks and New York Police Department blocker vehicles will be strategically lining roadways for the marathon, police Chief Carlos Gomez said Friday.
The state Department of Transportation said it is working with other organizations, including the NYPD Counterterrorism Bureau, “to evaluate all necessary steps to protect pedestrian safety.”
The NYPD increased the number of observation teams and sniper teams in the marathon detail, Gomez said. There will also be thousands of uniformed and plainclothes officers stationed along the route, which winds through the city’s five boroughs, starting on Staten Island and finishing in Central Park in Manhattan.
Hundreds of counterterrorism-trained officers along the route will have radiation detection devices and explosive-detecting canines, Gomez said.
The NYPD will also have its aviation unit hovering over the city and police harbor vessels patrolling city waterways.
About 2.5 million spectators are expected along the course, officials said. That’s in addition to the more than 50,000 runners from more than 100 countries participating in the world’s largest marathon, according to event sponsor, New York Road Runners.
De Blasio called the globally-broadcast event an important day for the city.
“It’s a chance for us to show the whole world once again who we are and to show that New York City will always be New York City. We won’t change.”
He added, “We remain America’s safest big city, and what happened on Tuesday didn’t change that, and what happened on Tuesday didn’t change us. We are still New Yorkers.”