Law Enforcement Ready for Spokane's Bloomsday

By Paige Browning

Law enforcement officials say they have increased the level of security for this year’s Bloomsday race in Spokane. More than 50,000 people participate in the 12-K run.

Security for the Lilac Bloomsday Run is a collaboration between the Spokane Police Department, the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, the FBI, and Border Patrol. At the Bloomsday security news conference Chief of Police Frank Straub noted the security enhancements, which will include a helicopter from both the sheriff’s office and border patrol, and more police in uniform and plain clothes.

“We want everyone to understand that this going to be a very well secured event.”

Straub says the race organizers are encouraging the public not to bring backpacks or other bags. The Boston Marathon bombings prompted the changes.

A serious incident has not occurred in the 36 years of Bloomsday, but law enforcement have vivid memories of the 2011 Martin Luther King Jr. Day march when a man left a backpack bomb along the route.

Even with enhanced security at Bloomsday this year, Chief Straub says no threat is expected. Participants can focus their concerns on getting past Doomsday Hill.

Copyright 2013 Spokane Public Radio

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