MEMA preps for Boston Marathon - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

MEMA preps for Boston Marathon

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Nicole Gerber

ngerber@abc6.com

@nicolegerber

FRAMINGHAM - More than 1 million people are expected to flock to the Boston Marathon on Monday - from the Hopkinton start line, through downtown Boston.

And this year the pressure's on for emergency personnel to keep the peace while maintaining an age–old tradition.

Deep underground, along Route 9 in Framingham, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency's bunker has extra phones, computers, and monitors Ahead of Marathon Monday.

It's called the Multi–Agency Coordination Center, or MACC.

"But this year's it's like the MACC on steroids, in that, historically we've had 70, 80 people essentially working out of this room only, this year we're going to have about 250 people working not only in this room, but in 4 or 5 different locations throughout the building as well," said MEMA Public Information Officer Peter Judge.

More than 60 different agencies will converge at MEMA to monitor safety, and keep eyes on more than 100 different cameras placed throughout the length of the route. And that's not all.

"They're also getting downlinks from, this year, multiple state police helicopters who are going to be up there as well, and folks there who are basically monitoring the social media out there," said Judge.

Security is of the utmost importance at this year's historic race... but while this past year of planning, prepping, and practicing worked to ensure the safety of everyone involved, those who designed the security measures walk a fine line.

"Our hope is we can make this as secure as possible but also keep it the same character as a safe family friendly festive type day as it always has been. You know we don't want to make this a giant police state type of event by any means. Or have people even feel that way," said Judge.

More than 350 uniformed police officers will line the 26.2 mile course, in addition to a number of state police runners who will be taking on the marathon equipped with emergency medical gear.

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