A look at security on the ground for the Marathon

HOPKINTON, Mass. (WWLP) – 22News has been telling you about the increased security policies that will be enforced at this year’s Boston Marathon, but state and local police departments still want people to come out, have fun and enjoy themselves.

Command Post 1 in Hopkinton
Command Post 1 in Hopkinton

Hopkinton Police Chief Ed Lee said that they have got your back when it comes to keeping you and your family safe on Monday.

This week, 22News took you to the skies to give you a look at the role state police helicopters play during huge events like the Marathon, which is expected to draw about one million people. Friday in Hopkinton, we got to go inside the mobile facility on the ground, the Incident Command Center, which analyzes and shares the information that helicopter picks up. If there’s any type of issue or suspicious activity, the helicopter can get a bird’s eye view almost instantly within a 19-mile stretch. It’s then downloaded to the command center, which has immediate communication capability with state, local, and federal agencies.

Col. Timothy Alben, Superintendent of the State Police, calls the Incident Command Center the “nerve center” of Monday’s operation.

A look at one of the surveillance cameras that state police are using.
A look at one of the surveillance cameras that state police are using.

Beside the aerial surveillance, and that of state and local police in uniform and plainclothes on the ground, police need you to be aware of your surroundings too, and they urge you to report anything that doesn’t seem right, even if you think it’s not important.

“If you’re there visiting or observing the race, you’re part of this as well. We are dependent on every single person who comes out to this race to be part of this security package, if you will,” Alben said.

One of the things that makes this facility so efficient is that it’s a central meeting location for the key people in charge if there’s a problem. For example, during the manhunt for the Tsarnaev brothers through the streets of Watertown last year, Governor Patrick, Mayor Menino, the Watertown Police Chief, and MEMA leaders were some of the people who worked together here.

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