Security will be on high alert for the 145th running of the Belmont Stakes in Elmont this weekend, even more so than usual after the Boston Marathon bombings, law enforcement officials warn.
Plainclothes emergency personnel will join forces with uniform officers patrolling the parking lot, backyard and building/apron area. There will also be security personnel watching the vicinity from a sky tower, helicopters and digital cameras. That’s in addition to a list of items fans are banned from bringing to the racetrack.
“If you see something, say something,” Frank Kirby, Nassau County police Chief of Patrol, told reporters Thursday at a news conference at the Garden City Hotel. “Everyone has to be a watchful eye.”
Suffolk County, New York City and MTA police officers will be on hand along with the racetrack’s private security, New York State troopers and the FBI, officials said. They will be strictly enforcing a list of items banned from the racetrack, inspecting bags and patrolling with K-9 units as well as radiation detectors.
The list of newly banned items includes air horns, bags larger than 12-inches wide, coolers and umbrellas. All food must be in a clear plastic container or see-through bags. One container per adult is permitted in the backyard area and two in the building/apron area.
These safety precautions are being implemented in order to maintain a fun, family friendly atmosphere, authorities said. The first race starts at 11:35 a.m. in the run-up to the main event at 6:36 p.m.
For more information and a full list of regulations, visit www.belmontstakes.com.