GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — In just 24 days Grand Rapids will be host to one the country’s largest 25k race, the Fifth Third River Bank Run where around 21,000 runners are expected to show up. But, in light of Monday’s tragedy in Boston, Fox 17 is learning some changes in security are on the way.
Lt. Patrick Dean, who works special events and is the Bomb Squad Commander for the Grand Rapids Police Department says ” it’s the largest event that we put on every year and it will be again this year. This year will be the most staffing we have for the River Bank Run as I can remember.”
Along with more officers, Lt. Dean says they will be doing bomb sweeps, have K-9 units on hand and portable x-ray equipment. He says they may even request the surveillance of MSP’s helicopter, all things that have never been done or used at the run before.
Lt. Dean says though, it’s not about scaring people it’s about being prepared the best way they can, “we just need to broaden that to the public and get everybody thinking the same way because there are again a lot more eyes and ears out in the public than in the police department we need to work together to see to it that this doesn’t happen again.”
Lt. Dean also wants to urge runners to not leave their bags or gear lying around. He encourages people to check it in or leave in their cars instead of on the street.
Of course as more developments begin to come out of Boston, Lt. Dean says they will continue to plan accordingly.