Bill Bratton: No specific threats, but high security for NYC Marathon

NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton promised "a safe, happy and memorable event" this Sunday. Seth Wenig/AP Photo

NEW YORK -- New York officials say they know of no specific threats against Sunday's New York City Marathon, but promised security protections that will be as strong or stronger than those in place a year ago.

"Security was ramped up significantly last year [after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing]," New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said Thursday. "We have kept that level of security, and then some."

In the wake of the Boston bombing, New York organizers put up more barriers last year around the finish line in Central Park. Runners also had to pass through magnetometers before the race began, and any bags were searched.

Bratton said that the intelligence community has not uncovered specific large-scale threats, but admitted that the recent attacks at the Canadian parliament building and against a New York police office in Queens serve as reminders of the danger of so-called "lone wolf" terrorists. Bratton and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio asked for cooperation from the public in alerting the police if they hear or see anything threatening.

About 50,000 runners are expected to run Sunday, in what continues to be the largest marathon in the world. Bratton said that more than 4,000 New York police officers will be involved in providing security for the event.

"We are very prepared," Bratton said. "We are very focused. ... We're in great shape for this event."

De Blasio once again sought to calm fears about the Ebola virus, and marathon officials stressed that while many African runners will take part Sunday, no one from any of the three West African nations hit by Ebola had applied to run in the New York City Marathon this year.

"I've said time and again to New Yorkers that there is no reason for alarm," de Blasio said.

De Blasio and Bratton met with other officials on Wednesday to review security plans, and to ensure that all were prepared to deal with anything that could go wrong. But both said confidently that they believe the marathon will go on with no issues.

"You will have a safe, happy and memorable event," Bratton said.