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Wendy Reuer, Published May 17 2013

Police presence increased at Fargo Marathon

FARGO – Runners and attendees of the Fargo Marathon today will notice an increased police presence, officers said.

Lt. Joe Anderson said it’s safe to say the April 15 bombing at the finish line of the Boston Marathon influenced a heavier presence in Fargo.

Although Anderson declined to say how many uniformed officers would be on scene and providing traffic control, he said the number will be greater than in past years.

Unattended or suspicious bags will also be confiscated.

Anderson said Fargodome staff plan to continuously blast reminders across loudspeakers throughout the day not to leave bags unattended.

Unattended bags will be picked up by volunteers, dome staff or police, checked for safety and then taken to a location outside the dome, likely on the south side, Anderson said.

“If people see something suspicious, find law enforcement or call it in,” Anderson said. “It’s our job to look into those suspicious activities if that’s what they are. They might turn out to be absolutely nothing. At least we can look into it.”

He doubted bags will be taken back to the Police Department if they aren’t picked up.

“We don’t have the equipment or the facility to do that,” Andersons said. “It’s nothing too complicating. It’s like at the airport.”

Technology will also play a bigger role in security for this year’s marathon.

Anderson said the department will use a portable camera system and cameras inside and outside the Fargodome.

“I think it will be a fun event for everyone and I’m hoping the heightened sense of security isn’t too much of an inconvenience,” Anderson said.