Governor Deval Patrick said this morning that officials have no intelligence suggesting any specific threats against Monday’s Boston Marathon, but described elevated security while reassuring the public that the race will be “very safe.”
Speaking on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Patrick said, “the intelligence folks often talk about so-called chatter in intelligence channels, and there has not been elevated chatter.”
“We’re not taking that as a sign to sort of stand down,” the governor continued. “We’re very alert, we’re very prepared and we’re assuring people as much as we can that it will be a fun day and a safe one.”
Patrick cited enhanced security measures for the first Boston Marathon since last year’s deadly bombing, including a larger police presence, tactical units deployed along the route, and undercover officers. He described a recent daylong practice session where 450 people from various law enforcement agencies walked through different scenarios.
He also noted that good training helped authorities properly handle the two unattended backpacks detonated on Boylston Street last week.
Asked to compare marathon security to a World Series game at Fenway Park, Patrick called the marathon “considerably more challenging.”
“The head of our emergency management team said he would take a stadium over a marathon route any day because there’s certain defined exits, it’s a confined space,” he said. “But we also don’t want to have kind of a race through a militarized zone. So it’s about striking a balance, and I think we have struck that balance.”
Also on “Face the Nation,” Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York said Boston’s resilience since last year’s tragedy can be read as an Easter or Passover story.
“The victims of that, their families, the whole Boston community has reminded us once again of the message of Easter -- life is stronger than death, hope is stronger than despair,” Dolan said “We’re not going to let this evil destroy us. Life goes on, and probably stronger and grittier than before because we’ve come through that darkness.”Marcella Bombardieri can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org