SPOKANE, Wash. -- Security was big on racers’ and fans’ minds for Bloomsday 2013, but things started and ended the same way Sunday: safely.
Spokane officers packed Downtown Spokane to monitor the event. The uniformed and undercover officers were reinforced by a U.S. Border Patrol helicopter, the Spokane Police Department SWAT Team and bomb sniffing dogs.
“There is a heightened awareness among the runners of the police that are around,” runner Jamie Redman said.
Normally the bomb dogs are stationed at the starting line. This year, they went everywhere.
The addition of extra personnel was just one change at the event. Backpacks weren’t allowed anywhere around the race, either.
The new changes are all in response to the Boston bombing, and the police department said they worked.
“We want people to be doing exactly what they’re doing now. Be happy, be excited, to enjoy it and feel like police, firefighters and everybody is here to make sure they have a good time,” Police Chief Frank Straub said.
Runners tell KREM 2 they were thinking of the people of Boston, but they did not feel scared today.
Police were concerned about one suspicious event before the race. A white powder was found at Riverfront Park but it was determined to be pesticide.
The chief said specifically, “Nothing weird happened today.”