Officials vow to make Marathon safe and enjoyable

Every time Boston Police Commissioner William Evans runs a marathon, he thinks of the bombs that tore through the finish line of the Boston Marathon last April. Whenever he is in Copley Square, he says thinks of the three people killed in those blasts, and of his own family cheering him on that day.

“I can’t but think that that could have been my family there,” said Evans, an avid runner who finished Boston last year before the explosions, and came back about an hour later to find destruction and death.

The city stayed strong last year, he said, and at this year’s race, Boston’s pride and spirit will be on display.


Evans made the remarks after a Saturday press conference in which city officials discussed security measures that will be in place from the anniversary of the bombings Tuesday to the Marathon itself on April 21.

Get Fast Forward in your inbox:
Forget yesterday's news. Get what you need today in this early-morning email.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

“Our goal for the Marathon is for everyone to enjoy the Marathon,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh . “It’s important to know that the Marathon will not be fundamentally changed this year. It will be the Boston Marathon, just as it’s always been.”

Officials detailed restrictions on attendees and said more police will be on patrol and cameras will be keeping watch.

“Unfortunately, since 4/15, things have changed, they really have,” said Evans. “We don’t want to intimidate people by the police presence out there, that’s not our goal. But believe me, we’re gonna have plenty of assets and if need be, they’ll be rolling in very quickly. But the goal is to make it a safe family day.”

Boston police will have an increased number of uniformed and undercover officers patrolling, and more than 100 cameras have been installed along the Boston portion of the Marathon route. More than 50 observation points will be set up around the finish line area to monitor the crowd.


Spectators are encouraged to leave behind bulky bags and strollers. The bags and strollers are not banned, but will be searched.

Thirteen ambulances will be stationed along the race route to support 24 ambulances providing service throughout Boston; 140 Boston EMS personnel will be located along the Boston route on bicycles, utility vehicles, foot, and in medical tents.

Four medical tents will be placed along the Boston portion of the route with increased capacity over last year, and the Boston Public Health Commission will have a small medical station on Boston Common with a 30-bed ambulance bus.

Boston EMS will have personnel assigned to a coordination center at the State Emergency Operations Center in Framingham and the City of Boston Emergency Operations Center monitoring the race, and the Stephen M. Lawlor Medical Intelligence Center will be activated to coordinate activities among hospitals and assist with family reunification.

Trauma counseling will be available over the Mayor’s Health Line, reachable at 617-534-5050, during the week leading up to the Marathon and on race day. Drop-in counseling will be offered on Marathon Monday at Our Lady of Victories Church on Isabella Street.


Marathon attendees are encouraged to take public transportation, as many streets will be closed on Marathon day.

Evan Allen can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @evanmallen.