The New York City Marathon is preparing for the worst ahead of Sunday's race. Authorities want to be extra careful in the aftermath of a recent attack, whereby a truck rammed into a crowd and killed eight people in lower Manhattan on Tuesday afternoon.
With over 51,000 runners expected to participate and over 2.5 million spectators ready to line the streets, police want the public to know that the marathon will be a safe event. Police plan to prepare throughout the week to enhance security plans ahead of the race. They are putting into place more trucks, blocker vehicles, and patrol. The New York Police Department also plans to double observation teams, rooftop observation posts, and counter-sniper teams.
The extra security will be implemented not only in Manhattan, where the recent attack took place but also throughout the boroughs.
"We've added more sand trucks, more blocker vehicles," Gomez said, according to ABC News. "It will be the most ever deployed at this event. We more than doubled our observation teams, our rooftop observation posts, as well as our counter-sniper teams from the emergency services unit throughout the boroughs, not just here in Manhattan."
Apparently, there will also be heavy weapons teams throughout the city. These teams will be placed at fixed locations along the route and equipped to move if needed. They will be on alert, ready at any moment to respond to a threat. There will also be police officers in civilian clothes, who will mix in with the crowd, in order to keep their eyes out for suspicious activity.
Security will be placed throughout New York, seeing as the race will begin in Staten Island and wind through all five boroughs. For this reason, police have realized that security cannot only be in Manhattan.
USA Today has reported that despite the fear that another attack might take place, runners have decided that they cannot be stopped. They will run anyways. One man, Harbert Okuti, claims that despite the fear that has been sparked, he and others will run the race with a positive attitude. And the race, he further contends, will be a positive boost for New Yorkers.
"It's so sad to see something like this happen in New York City, but we live in an open society and people are capable of anything," Okuti said. "But we have to be strong and not let them prevent us from who we are as human beings.
"I still think it's going to be a great weekend, and it'll be great to see New Yorkers cheer for something good," he said.
The New York Road Runners, which produces the marathon, has responded to worries about a possible attack on the event. They claim that their greatest sympathies are extended to the victims and their families and that they will be monitoring the situation very closely.
"For this weekend's marathon, as well with all of our events, the safety and security of our runners, staff, volunteers, and spectators is our top priority," the New York Road Runners said. "Together with our agency partners, we have extensive safety and security measures in place, both visible and behind the scenes. We are constantly reviewing our plans with law enforcement and will consider any necessary modifications or enhancements."
In breaking news, the identifies of all eight victims in the New York City attack were just released.