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State and local safety officials say security for this year's Boston Marathon will be similar to last year's race, and they're asking spectators not to bring backpacks, large bags, coolers or glass containers.
Kurt Schwartz, director of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, says thousands of officers will be deployed along the course.
"Spectators can expect that in all areas ... police officers will be engaged and interactive and may ask to examine bags and other possessions people are carrying, " Schwartz said at a Monday news conference on security planning for the marathon, which takes place on April 20.
According to Schwartz, security planning for the 119th running of the race began more than seven months ago. Security was increased along the route last year, following the finish line bombing at the 2013 marathon.
Some 30,000 runners are expected in the 2015 race, and, according to MEMA, "those who are not official participants are asked to refrain from entering the course for the safety of the runners and themselves."
Officials are asking for public cooperation with screening and security measures. They are also encouraging spectators to carry personal items in clear plastic bags. (Click here for a complete list of discouraged items, as well as other information for spectators.)
Officials also say that drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles, should not be operated over or near the course.
Despite the increased security presence, State Police Supt. Col. Tim Alben says the measures should not dampen the mood.
"This is about celebration," he said. "This is about our state. It's Patriots' Day. There are things that we should be celebrating — so it's not meant to be prohibitive. We want you to come and enjoy this."
This article was originally published on April 13, 2015.
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