Cleveland marathon organizers step up security - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

Cleveland marathon organizers step up security

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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

There have been more than 60 races since the Boston bombings and thank goodness no incidents.

Just days before the Cleveland race organizers are going over final security plans to make sure everyone here is safe this weekend.

"In the back of my mind for the last three to four years I was worried about something like this happening," says Jack Staph executive director of the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon.

Staph is talking about the Boston marathon, where thousands attended. The perfect place for someone with bad intentions to target.

"It's a very difficult thing to secure you have twenty six miles," says Staph.

Staph says despite how difficult it may be to make sure everything is secure Cleveland has it covered. With 30,000 people expected downtown they aren't taking any chances. Security is at the top of the race agenda.

Already they've had double the number of meetings about safety leading up to the big event and their private security has increased its staff, but that's just the beginning.

"We have worked closely with the Cleveland Police Department, Homeland Security and the county sheriffs," says Staph.

The FBI and State Police also added to their list.

But even with the tight law enforcement, race officials are asking the public to also be their eyes and ears.

"If someone looks suspicious then we ask people to notify the law enforcement personnel to approach the people speak to them," explains staph.

The bottom line, organizers want the runners and crowds to enjoy the race and feel safe while they're there.

Officials say don't bring bags to the race. If they are left behind they'll be confiscated. Backpacks are not allowed at their events at the IX-Center.

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