Fleet Week and Air Show security stepped up for weekend crowds

Posted at 4:25 PM, Oct 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-14 19:07:08-04

With more than 30,000 people expected Saturday alone between the Baltimore Running Festival and Fleet Week activities, Baltimore Police is stepping up security in a big way.

"It's a day that we have a lot of police that are out and will be covering the footprint, both inside the event area, marathon and fleet week, and across the rest of the city, you'll see an increased presence," Melissa Hyatt, Chief of Special Operations and Development Division of Baltimore Police said.

Officers both uniformed and undercover will be looking for anything suspicious, conducting bag checks and maintaining a safe environment.

Hyatt suggests visitors bring as little as possible downtown.

The bag policy inside the event is very similar to going into a stadium. You're allowed one clear gallon-sized bag, and clutch purses.

Officers may search your bag, and confiscate prohibited items. 

You'll also want to keep all belongings with you at all times, as any bags left alone will be searched and thrown away.

Law enforcement and city officials urge visitors to come Saturday after 3 p.m. or Sunday to avoid the thousands of people who will be running the marathon and the mess road closures will create.

One mom who brought out her homeschooled boys said they thought ahead when coming out to the inner harbor.

"[we] packed carefully, it's basically lunch, medicine, things like that that we might need, ID, and it's always stuff they can go through so I don't plan on losing anything," Patty Splitter said.

Another woman who was checking out the naval ships said she's also concerned with people bringing unnecessary items.

"I don't think people are going to be mindful because they're going to be so caught up on the festivities and are not going to think about it but you got to be careful because that's when things happen," Joy Smalls said.

Officials have been preparing for the worst case scenario.

"The marathon security plan changes and upgrades every year, in terms of safety and security, and with the fleet week plan it's the same thing," Hyatt said.

Law enforcement is also relying on the public to do their part, by keeping their bags with them at all times, and reporting anything suspicious that they see.