Marathon security increased in the sky and on the ground

A Massachusetts State Police helicopter is seen here in a WWLP file image from 2014.

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. (WWLP) – Security at this year’s Boston Marathon won’t only be enhanced on the ground, but in the sky as well.

22News reporter Kaitlin Goslee traveled to Framingham Thursday,where she flew in one of the helicopters that the State Police Air Wing will be using to provide security for the Marathon.

State Police will be flying four helicopters over the Marathon route this year (they only had one last year). In addition, some of the helicopters are brand new, and are equipped with state-of-the-art technology.

Colonel Timothy Alben, Superintendent of the State Police, told 22News that on the ground, there will be twice as many police officers as there were last year. Not all of those officers will be plainly visible to spectators, as there will be a greater number of plainclothes officers at the Marathon. They are also more officers trained in behavior detection techniques.
Yet despite the increased security, Alben said that members of the public are also an extremely important part of the effort to keep the event safe. The message to spectators is “See something, say something.” He told 22News that tips from the public were instrumental in helping them identify bombing suspects Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Some of the helicopter crew members providing security in this year’s race had taken part in the manhunt for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. 22News spoke with three of them on Monday. The crew, which is from Westover Air Reserve Base, and whose members all live in western Massachusetts, took an infrared photo that found Tsarnaev hiding inside a boat in a Watertown backyard.

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