Police presence to increase at Tillman race - Los Angeles Local News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Police presence to increase at Tillman race

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By Jessica Flores, FOX 10 News

TEMPE, Ariz. -- As we've been telling you all week, security is expected to be tight at this Saturday's Pat's Run event.

Nearly 30,000 runners are expected and with just a few hours to go before the race kicks off, everything is being done to keep people safe.

Runners registering for the 9th annual Pat's Run this year have another run on their mind: the Boston Marathon.

"What could happen here?  Is the kind of thing I thought about," said Denise Ramirez, who is participating in the event.

And Tempe police are thinking about it too -- the department is partnering with state and federal agencies to make sure this run goes smoothly.

"The bombing attack in Boston.. though tragic and horrible, it played a part in how we are planning for the event and it has to," said Lt. Scott Smith.

Law enforcement officials are asking people to leave backpacks and large bags at home.

"They are not prohibited, but they are being discouraged..it will help us be more efficient in our public safety duties," explained Smith.

If you do bring a backpack, officials say it could be searched.

Along the 4.2 mile route, police are beefing up security to make sure everyone is safe, but it's the security you won't be seeing that will be making all the difference.

"What they are going to see out here, they are definitely going to see a uniform police presence, but what they are not going to see is some additional resources that will not be wearing a uniform, so we think we are going to have the right mix," said Smith.

And to add to the law enforcement mix, the public.

"We depend on the community basically on a daily basis to report to us anything that doesnt look right, feel right, sound right," said Smith.

That awareness is something that's becoming the norm.

"It's something we can never relax and not think about-- it's part of our daily lives now," said Robert Navarez.

Police are asking the public if they do see anything suspicious not to approach the person or take matters into their own hands, but instead contact authorities right away.  That being said, officials say they are confident their security plan will keep everyone safe.

Pat's Run
April 20, 6am
Sun Devil Stadium
Arizona State University Campus
219 Packard Drive
Tempe, AZ  85281
www.pattillmanfoundation.org/pats-run

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