Security, Police Force Increased For Des Moines Marathon - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Security, Police Force Increased For Des Moines Marathon

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By: Claire Powell


More than 10,000 runners will participate in the IMT Des Moines Marathon this weekend, making it one of the largest races yet. There will also be thousands of spectators watching from the sidelines.

Naturally, race organizers were concerned with security after the Boston Marathon bombing in April. Although they don't expect anything to happen this weekend, they need to be prepared.

Starting in spring, the Des Moines Police Department, city officials and organizations worked together on strategies for major events.

"We really broke down the course into different sections and looked at it from another perspective and angle," said Chris Burch, Director of Racing and Events for IMT Des Moines Marathon.

Des Moines Police Department will have more than 60 officers controlling traffic and patrolling the streets on Sunday and they will also have extra back up.

"We'll have bomb techs and bomb dogs on hand downtown during the mornings events," said Sergeant Jason Halifax, Des Moines Police Department.

The focus will be on the heavily crowded areas near the start and finish lines on the Locust Street bridge.

"The Boston bombing caused us to reevaluate what we have, look at some weak points. We had to kind of evaluate if we need to do things a little bit differently. So some plans did change because of that," said Sgt. Halifax.

Burch said thanks to the added security, all attention can be focused on the race.

"We all came back together and reviewed our plan and we're ready for race weekend," said Burch.

Signs are posted along the race course and streets will be temporarily closed to through traffic on Sunday. 

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