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After Times Square Incident, Police Keep Eyes on Entertainment Targets

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Before yesterday's arrest of a man suspected of leaving a car bomb in New York City's Times Square on Saturday, Southland police agencies were already taking note.

“New York is another wake-up call to us in the United States,” said L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca to the LA Times. “We cannot afford to not be aware of what happened in New York.” He said his deputies working Universal CityWalk are already aware of the park's potential as a threat. “We have an extensive awareness at Universal Studios. But we rely on the public substantially to spot anything unusual and report it. Large gatherings of people are among the most obvious targets.”

In Santa Monica, Sgt. Jay Trisler told the Times police are always "vigilant" when it comes to popular areas such as the pier. MTV's Santa Monica building is of special concern because some believe the car bomb was intended for parent-company Viacom, which recently aired a controversial South Park episode on Comedy Central. The episode featured the prophet Muhammad in a bear suit. Afterwards, a group warned that there could be retribution.

As for the LAPD, Lt. John Romero tells LAist that officers "already pay significant attention to" critical sites. "We already have our eye on that."