BOSTON, M.A. (PIX11) — From bomb squad robots and the technicians that run them, to intelligence officers blending into the record crowd to the NYPD Commissioner himself in attendance, New York area law enforcement is big in Boston at the marathon.
“Nobody really does more major events in a year than New York. That’s the reality of it. But we’re not so naive not to understand that events in other cities like Boston, although, it’s smaller, what is it we can learn from them, what can we share with them?
New York cops are sharing their expertise with Boston Police as well as taking notes on what Boston’s doing. For instance, at various points along the marathon route are omnicams – beehive shaped surveillance camera units covered in dozens of holes. Each hole is covered with a dark lens, and behind each lens is a camera equipped to carry out a multiple face recognition tasks that can track an individual through the miles-long camera network.
Commissioner Bratton was not saying that the MIT-designed devices will be installed at the next New York Marathon, but everything is being considered for it.
“That’s why we’re up here,” Bratton said, “seeing is there anything we want to do different for the [marathon] coming up. What is Boston doing that might benefit what we do?”
Metro New York cops contribute in more everyday ways as well. Cops who are in the Port Authority Police Benevolent Association and the NYPD Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, the unions for those respective departments, were on hand at two different locations along the marathon route.
They had a constant stream of provisions — food, drinks and basic first aid — for Boston cops.
“We’ve been down this road” of having terror attacks in our city, said Ray Butler, a Port Authority officer and PBA leader who organized the PBA’s efforts along the marathon route.
“So we have a good idea of what it’s like to go through this type of tragedy, what it takes to do the police work to recover, and it’s easy for us to make the transition to come here and try to assist them.”
A walk through the thick crowds lining the race route showed that it’s clear Boston is living up to the “Boston Strong” slogan. People’s excitement, pride and support was palpable, as a runner from Forest Hills, Queens pointed out.
“The crowds came out and showed so much love,” said Alan Novie, who’d just finished his eighth Boston Marathon. “It was like saying that nobody’s gonna stop this race, nobody’s gonna stop all races.”
He said that typically, when he finishes a race, he’s wiped out. The exuberance of the 2014 Boston Marathon crowd, though, had the opposite effect.
“I’m usually beat up and tired,” Novie told PIX11 News, “but I feel great. I’m ready to have a beer.”