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More than 3,500 police planned for Boston Marathon

Spectators urged to avoid big bags

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    FILE -- In this April 15, 2013 file photo, a man dressed as a hot dog runs through Wellesley, Mass., during the 117th running of the Boston Marathon. Security will be tightened for the 2014 Boston Marathon after twin explosions killed three people and injured more than 260 near the finish line of the race in 2013. New rules include a limit on the size of water bottles, restrictions on bulky costumes, and nothing covering the face.(AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)

    <ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Boston-Marathon-Security-2

    FILE -- In this April 15, 2013 file photo, Robson Souto, right, of Brazil, stops to kiss Laura Cabral, a Wellesley College student from Chicago, during the 117th running of the Boston Marathon in Wellesley, Mass. Security will be tightened for the 2014 Boston Marathon after twin explosions killed three people and injured more than 260 near the finish line of the race in 2013. More police officers will be on the course in Wellesley, the halfway point, but they don’t plan to try to stop the favorite marathon tradition: a line of Wellesley College students kissing and hugging runners. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)

    <ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Boston-Marathon-Security-3

    FILE -- In this April 16, 2007 file photo, a runner celebrates his crossing of the start line during the 111th Boston Marathon in Hopkinton, Mass. Security will be tightened for the 2014 Boston Marathon after twin explosions killed three people and injured more than 260 near the finish line of the race in 2013. New rules include a limit on the size of water bottles, restrictions on bulky costumes, and nothing covering the face. (AP Photo/Lisa Poole, File)

    <ASSOCIATED PRESS

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.  — Spectators attending this year’s Boston Marathon with backpacks, coolers and other large items will have them subject to search.

Officials today strongly discouraged attendees from bringing such bags and instead urged them to carry belongings in clear plastic bags like those being given to runners to stow their gear.

At least 3,500 police officers will be spread across the eight cities and towns that make up the marathon route. That’s more than double the number from last year.

Authorities have been meeting for months to come up with a plan to beef up security following last year’s deadly attack. Three people were killed and more than 260 injured after two bombs exploded near the finish line of the race.

This year’s race is scheduled for April 21.

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