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Boston Marathon security is tight

An officer with a bomb-sniffing dog cruised along the Marathon route in Wellesley.
An officer with a bomb-sniffing dog cruised along the Marathon route in Wellesley. Suzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff

Police, firefighters, and other emergency workers were stationed along the Boston Marathon course Monday, as officials sought to maintain tight security without compromising the celebratory atmosphere long associated with the world-renowned race.

Speaking near the starting line in Hopkinton in the morning, the State Police superintendent, Colonel Timothy P. Alben, said hundreds of local and state officers would be watching over the race.

“There’ll be a very obvious presence of police officers across the 26 miles ... and there will be other things that you won’t see, that will blend in with the background and are paying attention and looking,” Alben said.

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Boston Police Commissioner William B. Evans said last week that his department would strive for tight security with a low-key feel like the one achieved last year as the department stepped up operations following the 2013 Marathon terror bombings.

The city is expecting to use 100 surveillance cameras as part of its security effort. New this year will be anti-drone technology. Both uniformed and undercover officers will be in the crowds.

Tight security measures were evident up and down Boylston Street, where police patrolled with bomb-sniffing dogs.

At about 8:45 a.m., spectators who had already gathered at the finish line were told to leave, and return through a security checkpoint at St. James Avenue.

“We have to give up our spot!” said Nicole Silva, 40, of Brockton, who was dressed in a blue-and-yellow “Boston Strong” shirt and hat. “I wish they told us that earlier.”

Carmen Ortiz, 52, her friend, said she understood the need for the restrictions.

“I guess I can see why they’re doing it, after what happened two years ago. Of course, safety comes first,” she said.

Police have urged spectators not to bring big items like backpacks, strollers, and coolers. Though such items are not banned, people who bring them may be subject to searches.

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Boston University freshmen Alejandra Flores and Natalie Kowalewski had to pass through a security checkpoint at Kenmore Square.

“It went fine,” said Kowalewski, 19, who is from New York State. “They could see we didn’t have any bags.”

The two clutched only a red-and-white umbrella and posters they drew to cheer on runners.

“To see the people in wheelchairs cross the finish line is just really inspiring,” said Flores, 18, of San Diego.

She made a poster that read “Go Random Stranger Go,” in green and purple colors.

“I’m trying to cheer on every person I can,” Flores said

Many roads are closed to traffic Monday, and parking restrictions are in effect around the race course.

“I would urge everybody to take public transportation,’’ Evans said Friday. “The fewer cars we have, the better off everyone’s movement around the city will be.”

The following major traffic restrictions are in place.

■ Streets around the Boston Common closed at 5 a.m.

■ Boylston, Hereford, and Arlington streets closed at 6 a.m.

■ All streets east of Massachusetts Avenue (as well as Exit 22 of the Massachusetts Turnpike) and all streets west of Mass. Ave. into the Kenmore Square Audubon Circle area closed at 8 a.m.

■ All streets in the Brighton area leading to the route were also scheduled to close.

Police gathered at the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and Commonwealth Avenue.
Police gathered at the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and Commonwealth Avenue.Steve Annear/Globe Staff

David Abel and Meghan E. Irons of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Andy Rosen can be reached at andrew.rosen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @andyrosen.


Kathy McCabe can be reached at kmccabe@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @GlobeKMcCabe.