After Boston Bombing, Backpacks Banned At Upcoming Penn Relays - Philadelphia News, Weather and Sports from WTXF FOX 29

After Boston Bombing, Backpacks Banned At Upcoming Penn Relays

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Backpacks will not be allowed at this year's Penn Relays, security officials announced. Backpacks will not be allowed at this year's Penn Relays, security officials announced.
University City -

As Philadelphia police raced to respond to dozens of calls of suspicious packages across the city, all was quiet at Franklin Field on the University of Pennsylvania campus, the site of next week's Penn Relays track and field meet.

"We have always looked at this as a high level security detail," said Maureen Rush, Vice President of Public Safety at the university. We work closely with Philadelphia police, with Homeland Security, the feds, the bomb squad. Dogs. We do it all."

This week's back pack bombs at the Boston Marathon have authorities here taking another look at security measures for the upcoming Relays, that run Wednesday through Saturday, attracting thousands of athletes and fans from around the world. Backpacks will now be banned.

"I think the era of bringing bags into large events is kind of over unfortunately," Rush told FOX 29.

"I'm sure they'll have security to protect us," said Steve Rozek, a grad student at the Wharton School on the Penn campus. He's been coming to the Penn Relays since he was a kid. He will be happy to see the heightened security.

"It was always a fun event and I expect this year will go just as well," Rozek said.

"We will be looking at every angle of this event to make sure that we do everything possible to make this a safe event as always," Rush said.

Authorities are already ramping up security measures for the Broad Street run on May 5th. Thousands of runners will jam the 10 mile course along Broad Street, shoulder to shoulder. Given the horrific events in Boston, tighter security will once again be the norm.

"There's gonna be a ton of security to get into Penn Relays and every other venue in the country after this," Rush added.

Penn Officials have already gotten calls from athletes in other countries concerned about security after the Boston Marathon bombing. Rush says everything humanly possible will be done to make this event safe for everyone, athletes and spectators.

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