Mayor, police chief add more cameras for Peachtree Road Race

by: John Bachman Updated:

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ATLANTA - Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed made official Monday what Channel 2 Action News broke last week. Metro Atlanta's Fourth of July tradition, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race, will get a major security boost.

Two weeks after the Boston Marathon bombings, city leaders released plans to run the race and run it safely.

"The race, much like the Boston Marathon, has become a special event, for Atlantans of all walks of life it's part of our cultural fabric," Reed said.

After the bombings at Boston's marathon two weeks ago, Atlanta's mayor and police chief are working closely with race organizers to make sure this year 60,000 runners on the Fourth of July in downtown Atlanta will be safe.

"There are no credible threats against this event, neither in Metro Atlanta area," Atlanta Police Chief George Turner said.

However, Turner will add extra officers and SWAT officers anyway.

"We clearly will see a large increase in the number of officers we have available doing a number of things we've not done in the past," Turner said.

One of the things Turner said he learned from the Boston Marathon is that the resources that were there were overwhelmed quickly.

Channel 2's John Bachman talked with a runner who's running this year's Peachtree Road Race about what he expects for security.

"How do you secure a long area like that with 60,000 people? I don't know how you'd do it, logistically," runner Kerry Dycus said.

One way is through cameras. In the last year, the city has added more than a thousand of them to its video integration center. Many of them cover the race route down Peachtree Street.

The mayor wants to add more in the next two months to cover the whole route.

"We're going to do what we need to do to close this gap for this route," Reed said.

Bachman asked the mayor and the chief whether they will remove garbage cans or ban backpacks along the race.

They said they're still developing the security plan and wouldn't say if that will happen.