With thousands of runners, walkers and their supporters converging on the Hatch Shell for the AIDS Walk and Run Boston Sunday morning, security is top of mind – especially in light of the terror attacks in London Saturday night.
Beth Israel Team Captain Lauren Gabovitch said, “I think that we all should be vigilant no matter where we are.”
“Everything that we do has some risk," said Linda Cato with the Department of Public Health Office of HIV/AIDS. "And I’m not going to stay at home.”
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The Boston Regional Intelligence Center has said it is continuing to monitor the situation in London and will ensure that it has adequate resources in place for all upcoming special events across the city, including the dozens of Boston Pride events scheduled this week.
Teresa Glass, an AIDS Walk attendee, said, “We try to do our best, we don’t bring big bags with us, we try to help people that are there to provide security so they don’t have to pay attention to an extra bag.”
Participants in both Boston Pride events and the AIDS Walk say they welcome the added security and will do their part to try to help police keep these events safe.
Eniko Sarkozy, who is attending Pride events throughout the week said, “I am definitely one of those people that as soon as I’m engulfed in like a big group of people I will look around and make sure that I know where the exits are, make sure where I can escape if there is an issue.”
Boston Police Commissioner William Evans says he wants people to come enjoy the city and all of its special events, like the AIDS Walk, and says police will make sure it’s a safe environment.
“Obviously we have them step up their game. We have more EOD assets out there regarding any type of terrorist activity," said Evans. "But there’s no threat to the city.”
While police are focused on security, organizers here at the AIDS Walk are focused on putting on a great event.
Jean-Marie Bonofilio with AIDS Walk and Run Boston said that, “[the event] is an annual tradition that started 32 years ago to support those living with HIV and AIDS. We are thankful for the support of the community that comes together to keep us putting this event on in a safe and efficient manner.”
Jovany Rosa who was participating in AIDS Walk said, “I feel like whatever happens, happens, but I feel like this city’s very - after all that’s happened - it’s very protected, so I’m really safe.”
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh agrees and says officials constantly re-evaluate, adjust and transform their security plans based on current events.
“We’ve changed the way we do policing ever since the marathon bombing and I think every weekend’s high alert for us,” said Walsh.
The AIDS Walk expected to raise about a million dollars today.
Next weekend's Pride Parade will cap off Pride Week with as many as 500,000 people in Boston to celebrate. Organizers said they'd be working with police to see if any new provisions should be made for security in light of the London attacks.