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NYPD Heightens Security For Sunday's Marathon

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TWC News: NYPD Heightens Security For Sunday's Marathon
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There will be extra significance at this year’s ING New York City Marathon because the event was cancelled last year because of Hurricane Sandy. There will also be extra security following the bombings at the Boston Marathon in April. NY1's Criminal Justice reporter Dean Meminger filed the following report.

The New York Police Department says Sunday's marathon will be the best protected race anyone can take part in, although the commissioner admits there are no guarantees so there will be a heightened police presence along the 26-mile course.

The NYPD will have officers on the ground, in the air and on the water.

"NYPD harbor units will escort the ferries that transport thousands of runners to their muster point on Staten Island,” Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said. “These boats will also perform other radiation detection patrols."

Scuba divers are also sweeping the waters around the five bridges that runners will cross to try to prevent a terrorist attack like the one in April at the Boston Marathon where three spectators were killed and hundreds hurt.

"We’ve done name checks concerning volunteers,” Kelly said. “We have engaged our Nexus program where we go to hundreds of businesses along the route, anything that seems of a suspicious nature.”

Runners have been warned about the tight security.

"I think if they think it is the smartest thing to do, then I’m all for it,” one runner said.

"We need that type of security because we don't know what to expect. But, the NYPD is helping us a great deal with security, so we’ll be fine,” another runner said.

NYPD officials have met with Boston Police about lessons learned from the attack. Private cameras picked up the two brothers accused of the Boston bombings.

At the NYPD's operation and security centers, officers will be eyeing thousands of cameras for any signs of trouble.

Police have located 1,400 private cameras along the parade route where video can be accessed if something does go wrong. The NYPD says so far there aren't any known terror threats.

“A lot of my family members were very concerned about about it, but in the end I am just going to go out there and run and try to have as much fun as possible,” a runner said.

"We just run with so much added meaning, supporting those still struggling from Sandy, supporting those that were hurt in Boston,” said Mary Wittenberg, CEO of the New York Road Runners Club.

Sunday is sure to be an emotional day for runners and spectators, who should leave bags at home and expect to be searched.

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