New York City officials said Thursday that they are not aware of any credible safety threats ahead of Sunday's marathon, but cautioned the public to be on the lookout for suspicious speech and behavior. (Oct. 30)
New York City mayor Bill de Blasio, left, and police commissioner Bill Bratton talk during a news conference in New York, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014. The NYC Marathon will be run on Sunday, Nov. 2, 2014. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
New York City police commissioner Bill Bratton, left, speaks while mayor Bill de Blasio listens during a news conference in New York, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014. The NYC Marathon will be run on Sunday, Nov. 2, 2014. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
NEW YORK — There are no credible threats against this weekend's New York City Marathon, Police Commissioner William Bratton said Thursday.
This is the second time the race has been run since the bombings at the 2013 Boston Marathon. Security was stepped up last year, with organizers planning similar measures Sunday. Barriers were erected around Central Park, where the race ends, and spectators could enter only through a few designated checkpoints where bags were searched.
Chief James Waters, the commanding officer of the NYPD's Counterterrorism Bureau, said officials in New York scoured social media after last year's marathon to gauge runners' and fans' reactions to the increased security.
"They felt reassured by our police presence, and the presence of all the other city agencies," he said at a news conference with Bratton and Mayor Bill de Blasio.
More than 4,000 officers will be deployed Sunday, Bratton said. The NYPD also will use four airships and about 20 vessels in the waters around the city.
De Blasio and Bratton attended a meeting Wednesday that included various city agencies and the FBI to go over preparations.
Bratton, who succeeded Raymond Kelly as commissioner in January, spent time in Boston to see how the city handled security for April's marathon there, the first since the bombings.
After recent "lone wolf" attacks in Canada and in New York, where a man assaulted officers with a hatchet last week, Bratton emphasized the importance of vigilance by residents to report suspicious or concerning activities.
About 50,000 runners are expected for Sunday's race through the five boroughs.
De Blasio said there was no reason for concerns about Ebola in conjunction with the marathon.
"This year, the best professionals in health and safety have added their input to make sure things will go smoothly," he said.
Marathon organizers said Monday they have no runners signed up for this year's race from the three West African countries stricken by Ebola.