Today, approximately 30,000 runners and 500,000 spectators gathered for the 119th Boston Marathon. Since the tragic events of April 15, 2013, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and local officials in the Boston area have strengthened partnerships and coordination to improve overall event security.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is supporting the Boston Marathon with approximately 1,200 federal officials, explosive ordinance detection teams, canine units, and behavioral detection field officers to assist the Federal Coordinator in helping the event planners enhance the overall event security. On the ground, participants and spectators may notice some of these revamped security measures, but many of these measures will be remain unseen. In fact, the lessons learned from the 2013 Boston tragedy have been incorporated at other special events across the nation to enhance overall security for the American public.
Assistant to the Special Agent in Charge Don McGrail, United States Secret Service, and Allison Thomson, Office of Operations Coordination, coordinate during the 118th Boston Marathon last April (photo by Massachusetts State Police).
Support for Boston Marathon security comes from all corners of DHS: the National Protection and Programs Directorate provides comprehensive infrastructure security assessments; the Office of Intelligence and Analysis provides intelligence information sharing; the Federal Emergency Management Agency supports emergency response, recovery, and communications; and the DHS Office of Operations Coordination and the National Operations Center handles federal support coordination. These efforts in Boston are overseen by Federal Coordinator U.S. Secret Service Special Agent in Charge Lisa Quinn, whom Secretary Johnson appointed to this role to participate in pre-event planning and coordinate the federal assets at the request of state and local event organizers.
“The federal agencies view their contributions to the overarching security plan for the 2015 Boston Marathon as an opportunity to ‘give back’ to our local and state partners who provide resources on a daily basis to our collective missions,” said Special Agent Quinn.