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December 22, 2014

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After Boston bombings, security added for charity race in Las Vegas

Holly Madison at Race For The Cure

Holly Madison serves as Honorary Race Marshall for the Susan G. Komen Southern Nevada Race For The Cure on May 7, 2011. Launch slideshow »

For the first time in 18 years, there will be extra security at tomorrow’s Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in downtown Las Vegas, in the wake of the bombings at the Boston Marathon.

Metro Police will be patrolling the streets along the race route and the Nevada Highway Patrol will secure highway on- and off-ramps, said Stephanie Kirby, executive director of Susan G. Komen Southern Nevada.

“In light of the Boston Marathon bombings, we reached out to Metro to see if there was some way to work with them to increase enforcement in strategic ways,” Kirby said.

Metro agreed extra security was warranted but has declined to offer specifics about the added measures. Police did, however, confirm that there would be more officers at the charity race than past years, including plain-clothes officers and bomb detection units.

“We don’t want to give up exactly what we are doing, but after every critical event that happens in the country, we look at the specific behaviors and what’s been done. Then, as an agency, we evaluate how we would respond,” Metro Officer Larry Hadfield said.

Kirby said a member of the race committee took on the responsibility of organizing security after the Boston bombings, ensuring one point of contact for Metro Police, Homeland Security officers and other agencies.

“We want it to be as celebratory and joyous as it is every year,” Kirby said. “We’ve been careful to not make it look like a police state but also alleviate peoples concerns by making sure we have increased security.”

Metro Police and race coordinators are asking race participants and spectators to follow the “see something, say something” mantra and report suspicious activity or objects.

Race organizers and Metro Police are also encouraging runners and spectators to bring the bare minimum and avoid carrying bags that are targets for thieves and may look suspicious if left unattended.

Kirby said 14,000 runners are expected, with 75 percent of the funds raised supporting local programs that serve the uninsured and underinsured in the fight against breast cancer.

The remaining 25 percent is directed to the Susan G. Komen Awards & Grants Research Program to find a cure.

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