Dodgers Hire Former Police Chief Bratton to Review Security
The Dodgers have retained the services of former LAPD Chief William J. Bratton in response to increasing pressure from community and civic leaders to tighten security at Dodger Stadium in the aftermath of an Opening Day post-game beating which left one man critically injured.
For the first time since 2005, the Dodgers opened the season without a full-time head of security, according to the LA Times.
Bratton, who served as police commissioner in Boston and for the NYPD during the 90's before spending much of the last decade as Chief of LAPD, announced his resignation last October, now works for a private NYC-based security consultancy.
"Bill Bratton is widely credited with spearheading modern community policing in America," said Los Angeles Dodgers Owner Frank McCourt in a press release issued by the team late Wednesday, stating that Bratton will conduct a "top-to-bottom review of our current practices." McCourt initially expressed satisfaction with the state of Dodgers security despite the "tragic" beating of a fan.
Bryan Stow, a 42-year-old Santa Clara paramedic and Giants fan, remains in a coma at LA County - USC Medical Center one week after being beaten and suffering a fractured skull following the Dodgers home opener. Doctors are unsure whether or not Stow will recover full brain functionality. The two suspects in the attack remain at large with a $100,000 award at stake.
One reason it may be difficult for the Dodgers front office to understand the security issues at the park is that the unsafest areas are not within the stadium's walls but throughout the surrounding parking lot that sprawls over the area once known as Chavez Ravine.
Threats of violence and actual fights in the parking lot are commonly reported by fans and with LAPD sparsely patrolling the parking lot and most everybody else concerned with the flow of traffic, it is inevitable that altercations proceed until one party lay unconscious or worse. Mr. Bratton might want to consider beefing up on mounted patrol and officers-on-bicycles. Considering the L.A. Police Academy is headquartered in Elysian Park, it's a shame to walk through the parking lot after a Dodgers game in fear for your life should you be wearing the opposing teams jersey. Even Stow, a veteran paramedic reported by text message that he was "scared" before leaving the stadium.