HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - New surveillance cameras and signs are up along the 26.2 mile route for Sunday's Honolulu Marathon. The heightened security comes after the tragedy at Boston's race earlier this year.
Gaston Ly is ready for his 7th Honolulu Marathon this weekend. The Running Room manager said he never thought about backing out after the bombings in Boston last April.
"It's a very tragic event, but at the same time, I felt confident that there were going to be security measures that were heightened in the short term, and just hope that it doesn't affect privacy issues long term," said Ly.
One part of the enhanced security is increased video monitoring by law enforcement officers.
"Based on the situational analysis, if they deem that there is an activity going forward, they'll certainly do the necessary measures to archive as well as respond to the incident," explained Melvin Kaku, director of the Department of Emergency Management.
The city installed 12 new surveillance cameras along the route through downtown, Waikiki and Hawaii Kai. 60 to 75 existing traffic cameras along the course will also be used, according to the city.
"It's not being visually monitored 24-7 if you will, but especially during the event and prior to the event, we'll be really looking at the video streams," Kaku said.
"I think it's probably a great safety precaution. This is a business district so a lot of damage can be done," said downtown worker Mary Bueche.
Three of the new cameras, which cost roughly $6,000 each, will remain up to monitor traffic after the race. The other nine cameras, which run a few hundred dollars a piece, will be taken down. Kaku said if there are no incidents at the marathon, the recordings will be deleted. There are currently 29,562 entries with four days of registration left, according to race officials. They expect the number of entries to be close to last year's total of 31,083 entries.
"It's like any other large gathering that they would be going to like a concert, parade, or football game," said David Monti, editor and publisher of Race Results Weekly which is based in New York. "There is always going to be some risk, but I think that risk is small."