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      Strong security presence at 37th Cooper River Bridge Run

      MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) --{}The 37th Cooper River Bridge Run is now history. {}This year's event included extra security and police presence on both sides of the bridge.

      "Come on! Bring it on! Big run today! Fast run! Fast run," exclaimed Paul Wieters of the Bridge Run Committee. He greeted runners and walkers in the early morning hours.

      At the corner of Calhoun and Meeting Streets, law enforcement showed its hospitality differently: opening its arms with a show of force.

      "We've had it in place all these years. It's just that we're going to make everybody feel safe so when they run, they feel like they'll be welcomed in here.{} And that's where we want them to be," said Wieters.

      At daybreak, Moultrie Middle School looked like a fortress. A tactical operation for a massive public event, Mt. Pleasant Police used metal detectors to wand runners, bags were searched, and police dogs sniffed around cars.

      The surge of police presence could be seen everywhere along the race route.{} Officers were stationed at every corral opening checking everyone that goes in.{} And from the racers we spoke with, they applauded their efforts.

      "They have different stations where people are able to let their bags be checked. Or they're asking them to take certain things out or whatever," said Jean McIver, a Bridge Run participant. "I feel very safe."{}

      "They had quite a bit of security," said Bill Yerkes, another Bridge Run participant. "They had metal detectors. And they checked all the bags. You had to bring stuff in clear plastic bags and everything." We asked him if the extra caution slowed him down. "No," he said. "Not at all"{}

      Emergency responders were ready to respond at a moment's notice, focusing on thousands of people at the Lowcountry's biggest event.

      It seems all the extra precaution did its job. Inspector Chip Googe of the Mt. Pleasant Police Department said there were no reports of criminal activity during the Bridge Run.

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