Security preparations underway for annual Country Music Marathon

Security preparations underway for annual Country Music Marathon (Image 1)

Metro police have banned bags near the start and finish lines at this year’s Country Music Marathon.

Metro police Chief Steve Anderson announced the ban, saying “it’s a new normal for law enforcement in planning for large events.”

The change is among several at this year’s Country Music Marathon and Half Marathon to be held Saturday in Nashville.

“Backpacks, duffle bags, travel bags, regardless if it is carried by a spectator or participant, it will not be permitted in this area,” said Chief Anderson. “There will be a large law enforcement presence in these areas and persons carrying bags will be approached.”

The “No Bag Zone” runs along Broadway from 1st to 12th Avenue, on Demonbreun from 1st to 8th and around Music City Center.

Other security measures include:
1. Spectators are not allowed to view race on a one-block section of 6th Avenue that runs under the Music City Center
2. People parking near the start line in the Music City Center parking garage and Pinnacle Building garage must be parked before 6 a.m.
3. Lower Broadway will close to traffic at 3 a.m. Saturday morning
4. Illegally parked vehicles will be towed beginning at 12 a.m. Saturday morning
5. Bags and coolers are allowed on other areas of the course, but spectators are urged to keep those items with them at all timesChief Anderson, FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Keith Moses, US Attorney David Rivera and Nashville District Attorney Torry Johnson also warned that any threat, hoax or incident meant to cause “fear to our runners and spectators” will be turned over to federal prosecutors.

Moses told News 2 that includes posts to Twitter, Facebook or other social media sites.

This year’s Country Music Marathon begins on Lower Broadway and ends at LP Field. The race begins at 7 a.m. Saturday.

“An increased presence is guaranteed,” said race Vice President Malain McCormick. “You’ll see more security guards at the start and finish lines. We’re also asking spectators and runners to just be aware of their surroundings [and] if they see something, say something.”

The expo, which is held Thursday and Friday, will be held at the new Music City Center.

For more information on the Country Music Marathon, visit their Web site.

Signs urging spectators to report anything suspicious to police. Tips can be called in to 615-880-1515.

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