CLEVELAND – There will be more security and explosive-sniffing dogs at this year’s Rite-Aid Cleveland Marathon, county leaders said.
"We are getting more engaged and more involved in providing security for that event than the county ever has been," Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald said at a news conference Tuesday afternoon.
"We have upped the dogs and how many, we don't know yet, and we are gathering them from around the city, the county and the state," Jack Staph with the Rite-Aid Cleveland Marathon said.
FitzGerald said that for the first time, the county will play an active role in security for the 36th annual Rite-Aid Cleveland Marathon, which starts and ends at First Energy Stadium. Organizers estimate about 45,000 people will show up.
About 22,000 of them will be runners, Staph said.
The 26.2 mile marathon route meanders through downtown Cleveland to Ohio City, then, turns back eastward to Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, before runners make the final trek back to the finish line at First Energy Stadium.
The sheriff's department will deploy a dozen officers with what is called the Impact Unit, in addition to Cleveland police and the marathon’s security team of about 400 people, Staph said.
"I don't want to give too much of the information out, but they are going to be assisting sort of secretly throughout the route of the marathon," Cuyahoga County Sheriff Frank Bova said.
"I personally will be standing at the finish line with members of my family and I hope that reassures anyone who feels and anxiety," Staph said.
There are no specific threats against the Cleveland Marathon, Staph said. The two-day event starts May 18th, with the marathon on Sunday, May 19th.
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