In wake of Marathon bombings, stepped-up security planned on Esplanade for Fourth of July

State and local officials today detailed the enhanced security measures that will be in place for next week’s July Fourth concert and fireworks display at the Hatch Shell on the Esplanade, including a ban on backpacks.

In the wake of the Marathon bombings on April 15, the State Police will have additional troopers, both uniformed and undercover, stationed along the Esplanade, Colonel Timothy P. Alben said. Additionally, event organizers have prohibited certain items from the Esplanade, including backpacks, coolers with wheels, pre-mixed beverages and liquids in containers larger than two liters.

“We’ve made several significant enhancements to this year’s security plan,” Alben said. “Some of these enhancements the public will see and some of them you won’t see.”

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The secure perimeter for the event will be expanded, to stretch from the Hatch Shell to Clarendon Street. People who want to watch the concert and fireworks inside that area will have to pass through security screening gates first.

“Whatever you bring to that gate is going to be thoroughly searched,” Alben said. He also said that after 4 p.m. on July 4 no items will be allowed to enter the area. “After 4 p.m. it’s you, that’s it.”

Alben said video surveillance equipment at the Esplanade has been upgraded and expanded to allow law enforcement to monitor video feeds in real time.

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