MEMA security exercise ahead of Boston Marathon

Offers agencies a chance to check their ability to respond to emergencies

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. (WWLP) – The Boston Marathon is now less than a week away, and security officials are working to make sure that runners and spectators stay safe.

State police, local police departments, members of the Massachusetts National Guard, and disaster officials from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency are working together to prepare for any potential security issues at the race. At MEMA Headquarters in Framingham Tuesday morning, a Marathon preparation exercise was held.

It gives the different agencies a chance to test their ability to respond to possible emergencies at the race. It also allows them to make any possible adjustments to their security plans in advance.

State Police Lt. Col. Frank Hughes told 22News they’ve spent the past 5-months planning those security plans. “We look at different scenarios that could happen, different things that we’ve seen across the globe, things to that effect,” he said.

MEMA Director Kurt Schwartz said one of their biggest challenges is planning for threats the world has never seen before. “We take into account the changing threat environment, we write new plans all the time, and we put different types of resources out there depending on what the threat is,” he said.

About 1 million people are expected to line the route from Hopkinton to Boston for the Marathon on Monday. Security has been a heightened concern at the race since the deadly bombings at the finish line in the 2013 Marathon.

22News reporter Tamara Sacharczyk is at MEMA headquarters in Framingham, and will show you how Tuesday’s exercise works tonight on 22News starting at 5:00.