HARVEYS LAKE — In light of the deadly bombings in Boston, police in our area are stepping up security at an upcoming race in Luzerne County.
Extra police will be on hand at Saturdays’ Glen Summit Harveys Lake run.
Organizers of the race at Harveys Lake are telling runners and visitors to leave their bags behind.
Nearly 500 runners are expected to compete in two races Saturday.
Out of an abundance of caution, borough police say all eight of their officers will be on duty. The chief is also asking state troopers and other departments in the back mountain to help out.
As organizers of the annual 5k and 8 mile run around Harveys Lake marked the finish line on Route 415, they discussed their plans for increased security.
Last year, Harveys Lake police were parked along the race route. This year, organizers will also pay a private security firm to do spot bag checks.
Also for Saturday’s races, the fire department will close more intersections than in the past to limit traffic near the finish line.
“We’re requesting that runners not bring any bags or packages (and) leave them on the ground anywhere. Leave them in your vehicles. And please be polite. We’re going to have security guards or some of the police. If they see you with a bag or some kind of a back pack, they’re going to ask to look in it and make sure everything is okay,” said Richard Pais, director of Wilkes-Barre Racing.
A runner from Luzerne County who participated in the Boston Marathon years ago told us the images of the explosions were tough to watch. He doesn’t want the fear to ruin this weekend’s race at Harveys Lake.
“Those who qualify, it’s like ‘I have achieved a great opportunity.’ to go there and not only to stop their event, but to see the tragedy, it just tears their hearts apart, as well as ours,” said Reginald Thomas of Bear Creek.
Harveys Lake police say they have called other departments in the back mountain, as well as state troopers, to help reassure visitors.
Anthony Sistrunk moved to Kingston after living through the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York City. He says he supports the extra race security.
“You can never be too safe with people, for human lives. For people to enjoy themselves and them just to be safe, leave your bags in your vehicle.”
Organizers say they’re planning a moment of silence for the victims in Boston before the start of Saturday morning’s race at Harveys Lake.