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Police beefing up security for 36th annual 5th/3rd River Bank Run in Grand Rapids

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“This year, by far, will be the largest security force that we’ve had for a 5th/3rd River Bank run to date,” Grand Rapids Police Chief Kevin Belk told city commissioners Tuesday.

21,000 runners are registered for the race.

He’s coordinating security with the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and five police forces from neighboring communities.

Belk says Michigan State Police will fly helicopters overhead and use bomb-sniffing canine units

“If we want to be safe it’s everyone’s responsibility. We need people to be vigilant. We need them to be observant. We need them to be cooperative, not leave things unattended,” Belk said, “But also when they see something that they think is suspicious or unusual it is imperative that they report that to law enforcement immediately.”

The race is on May 11th, nearly one month after the bombings at the Boston Marathon.

Belk is urging runners and spectators to check their bags to be stored safely during the race or leave them at home.

Lindsey Smith is a Peabody Award-winning journalist currently leading the station's Amplify Team. She previously served as Michigan Public's Morning News Editor, Investigative Reporter and West Michigan Reporter.
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