Police beefing up security for July 4 in BostonAP , Associated Press
Jun. 25, 2013 2:38 PM ET
BOSTON (AP) — Law enforcement officials are beefing up security for Boston's Fourth of July celebration, the city's first major public gathering since the Boston Marathon bombings, State Police Superintendent Col. Timothy Alben said Tuesday.
Alben said authorities haven't gotten any intelligence reports that suggest threats to the event, and he encouraged the public to attend the traditional music and fireworks show on the Charles River Esplanade, which has attracted 500,000 to 600,000 people in years past.
"My message here today is to assure the public that extensive steps have been taken to ensure that this will be a safe place for them to take their families and for everyone to have an enjoyable time as we celebrate our nation's birth," Alben said.
Massachusetts authorities consulted with security experts and studied practices used by police in New York City and London in devising a security plan for July 4.
Alben said more uniform and undercover officers and more video camera surveillance will be in place. Federal law enforcement officers also will be involved. Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Police Chief Paul MacMillan said more officers also will ride the transit system, both in uniform and plainclothes.
Certain items will be prohibited along the Esplanade, including backpacks, coolers with wheels and pre-mixed beverages.
Officers will conduct bag searches of anyone entering the Lagoon area and the Hatch Memorial Shell area, where the Boston Pops and others will perform. More restrictions will be put in place after 4 p.m. on what items can be brought inside the shell area.
Authorities also plan to activate a text-a-tip line so people can pass on information about anything suspicious.
The April 15 bombings killed three people and injured more than 260. A suspect has been charged and remains in custody.