The Las Vegas Police Department will post snipers on rooftops and additional security will be surrounding thousands of runners at the Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon in Las Vegas on Sunday, according to the Associated Press.
This is the first large-scale outdoor event since a gunman killed 58 people at a country music festival in October 1.
Police have beefed up security and tweaked their original safety plan for the annual event that starts just before sunset on the Las Vegas Strip.
Security checkpoints have been set up for the Sunday races — a marathon, half marathon and 10K.
“We’ve made a few changes, some subtle things,” Capt. Andrew Walsh said. “Obviously, the threat of a sniper attack is something that we know can happen. So, we added some counter-sniper surveillance posts along the route.”
About 350 officers will be working to protect the runners as they pass by world-famous high-rise casino-hotels and the spot of the shooting.
The police helicopter unit will be circling over the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon, they will also have bomb-sniffing dogs.
Semi-trucks, dump trucks, buses and other large city vehicles will be positioned at key intersections to try to prevent anyone from driving onto the course, Walsh said, this measure comes in response to recent attacks in the U.S. and abroad in which vehicles have plowed into crowds.
Walsh acknowledged that the event presents a huge challenge to police and encouraged casino employees, visitors and others to alert authorities of anything suspicious.
“With all the things that we’ve seen happen in the world, whether it’s in Texas at a church, whether it is in New York City on a bike path, or whether it’s here at a concert, the vulnerabilities that exist and try to predict and prevent each and every one of those is a tremendous challenge,” Walsh said.
The start of the marathon, usually outside Mandalay Bay, was moved a mile north to the front of the New York-New York casino-hotel. The race has always featured live bands every mile, but on Sunday, the first 2½ miles — when runners will go by the crime scene twice — will be silent.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.