UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The first thing that Boilermaker Security Director Joe LaBella did when he saw what was happening at the Boston Marathon was get on the phone with the Boilermaker director and executive director and ask, "are you watching this?"
Utica may not be a large, high-profile city like Boston. However, the Boilermaker 15k Road Race puts the city on the world stage the second Sunday every July, when elite runners from all over the world come here to run the race.
Boilermaker officials aren't taking any chances; there will be heightened security at this year's race. Security officials say some changes will be conspicuous to the average runner and spectator; others will not. And that's how officials want it.
"Not on the route itself but in certain key places, yes we could," says LaBella regarding whether or not race officials can go as far as to ban duffel bags and trash receptacles from the Boilermaker. "That's something we're looking at now. We're looking at manpower and what kind of equipment we need, who do we have to talk to, who do we have to actually ask for a helping hand and we're going to go from there."
LaBella says race officials will rely heavily on the public to report anything they see that seems unusual. He says there will be a press conference regarding security changes in the next couple of weeks, after all the relevant parties have a chance to discuss security changes.