More than 1 million strong gather near Boston Marathon finish li - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

More than 1 million strong gather near Boston Marathon finish line

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With more than a million people gathered near the finish line, city and state officials were not taking any chances on safety.

Crowds were being monitored and Western Mass. played a major role in the testing of surveillance equipment.

On foot, horseback and overhead in helicopters, city and state police kept a close eye on spectators and runners. Thousands of extra police officers were a part of this year's Boston marathon, some in uniform others blending in with the crowd.

Marathon runners said they've never felt safer.

"I'm sure there's millions of eyes literally looking for anything that's going to be wrong, so I'm just going to enjoy the day and be Boston strong," said marathon runner Zander Sprague.

There were security checkpoints near the finish line where dozens of people waited to have their bags checked before they could get access to the finish line area.

"I think the security checkpoints are not that bad, they're pretty good. You can have bags and I feel safe," said Kim Wamback of Worcester.

The marathon route itself had hundreds of eyes watching as more than 100 surveillance cameras were set up all along the course. The cameras were tested out last month at Holyoke's Saint Patrick's Day weekend celebrations, allowing state and city police to use the technology before Marathon Monday.

People in attendance who cheered on loved ones, including East Longmeadow Police Chief Doug Mellis, said every security measure puts them more at ease.

"You can hear their helicopters up above and it's a nice feeling, a nice safe feeling," Mellis said.

State police also used their smartphone app to keep people aware of security changes.

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