Boston Marathon public safety protocols outlined ahead of Marathon Monday

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When 30,000 runners representing 129 countries and all 50 states – including 4,500 participants from the Bay State – take off from Hopkinton on Monday, 9,500 volunteers will be stationed in eight cities and towns, providing first aid, water and food.

This year’s marathon marks the 100th anniversary of Hopkinton playing host to the starting line of the 26.2-mile route to Boylston Street in Copley Square. And in the eyes of Jack Fleming, the president of the Boston Athletic Association, the volunteers are the ones who make the race possible.

“We could not put on this event the way we do,” Fleming said Friday morning before officials outlined public safety protocols ahead of Monday’s big dance. “They are a big part of history and our participants in making their own history.”

“I would like to extend my sincere thanks to them and to the teams they lead for their unwavering help and support in staging the world’s oldest annual marathon,” he added.

As of Friday morning, the FBI was not aware of “any specific or credible threats targeting this year’s marathon,” said Jodi Cohen, who is in her first year as special agent in charge of the bureau’s Boston division.

“While we are confident in this assessment, we are asking you to remain vigilant because the threat landscape can change at any time,” she said. “The threats we are facing from domestic, international and state-sponsored terrorism actors are all elevated.”

Beginning at 6 a.m. Monday, the state’s emergency operations center, located at MEMA’s headquarters in Framingham, will open up as the marathon’s unified coordination center. There, 133 staffers representing 48 local, state and federal agencies and nongovernmental organizations will be working to maintain public safety across the route, said Dawn Brentley, the agency’s director.

Authorities will have uniformed and undercover officers along the course, and cameras will be active along the Boston portion of the course, with observation points set up around the finish line area in Back Bay to monitor the crowd.

Spectators are encouraged to leave large items such as backpacks and strollers at home, officials highlighted. These items are not banned; however, individuals may be subject to search, they added.

Drones are prohibited.

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu joined the city police department’s briefing on Thursday with its law enforcement partners along the route and across different community organizations.

“As always, they were discussing every little detail,” she said, “even tweaks from last year to ensure that traffic flow would go as smoothly as possible in parts that may be impacted, and that safety is always paramount.”

The mayor highlighted how this year’s marathon falls on OneBoston Day, the annual remembering of the lives lost and individuals injured during and in the aftermath of the 2013 bombings. The day features community organizations and residents participating in acts of kindness across the city.

New to the course this year will be four additional miles of barricades at various locations along the course in the cities and towns of Ashland, Natick, Newton, Wellesley and Boston. The infrastructure, the B.A.A. outlined in a release, helps with “crowd support, wayfinding and branding obligations.”

“Our request is for all spectators to be on the sideline, not on the course,” Fleming said. “We really seek their cooperation in cheering on the sideline.”

Boston Police Commissioner Michael Cox added if spectators hop over the barriers, “they will be removed from the course.”

Chief Kenneth Green of MBTA Transit Police speaks to the crowd gathered for the 2024 Boston Marathon Public Safety Press Conference at Fairmont Copley Hotel. (Libby O’Neill/Boston Herald)
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