Expect More Security at Big Events in L.A. This Weekend
When it comes to events in Los Angeles, this weekend is pretty much as epic as they come, as race fans gather in Long Beach for the Toyota Grand Prix, book lovers convene at USC for the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, and bike riders enjoy a ride from Downtown to the Pacific on the CicLAvia route, and more.
However, thanks to the recent Boston Marathon bombings and the ensuing suspect manhunt and lockdown, attendees at major events in the L.A. area can expect heightened security at venues.
Authorities said they have received no credible information of any threat to local events, however, extra law enforcement personnel—including undercover officers—were being deployed as a precaution in areas where large crowds were expected to gather, according to City News Service.
Angelenos are being urged to simply do what they'd normall do, and enjoy the weekend. "We are encouraging everyone to go about their business as usual," Los Angeles police Officer Sally Madera said.
When it comes to the Toyota Grand Prix, Long Beach police Chief Jim McDonnell told the Long Beach Press-Telegram: "We will take all appropriate precautions for the safety and security for everyone involved." McDonnell cautioned attendees they will be seeing lots of uniformed officers, and that non-uniformed officers will be interspersed in the crowd.
Similar measures will be in place at other events around town.
Beefed up security will be implemented on public transit, says Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department spokesperson Steve Whitmore.
Meanwhile, the LAPD have been steering L.A. residents to the iWatch online program, which is "a community awareness program created to educate the public about behaviors and activities that may have a connection to terrorism." There, Angelenos can report "suspicious behaviors and activities that may have a nexus to terrorism," says LAPD Chief Charlie Beck.
“As LA’s Chief of Police, it is my primary duty to keep everyone safe,” pledged Beck in a press release.