Award Show Security at an All Time High
- By Sydny Shepard
- Feb 26, 2016
Those in attendance of the Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on Feb. 28 will be seeing more than just celebrities and paparazzi; they’ll be seeing hundreds of law enforcement officers. This year’s Oscars will be the first since the terrorist attacks in San Bernardino and Paris and while there isn’t a specific threat relative to the show, the security surrounding the event will be intense.
On top of the hundreds of law enforcement officers patrolling the event, there will be SWAT team members with bulletproof vests and tactical gear, bomb-sniffing dogs and sophisticated surveillance equipment. There will be metal detectors and every car entering into the Hollywood & Highland park facility will be swept.
Security researchers predict that the show will not just hire anyone to the security team for the awards show. They will only bring on those who are off-duty police officers or security guards with whom they’ve had a long history with.
There are two phases to the security for the event. The first occurs during the days before the red carpet is rolled out. Security will sweep the facilities to ensure they are safe and set up surveillance and security posts. The day of the event is when phase two is set to begin, and while specifics of the plan have not been released, it will most likely include the sweeping of entering cars, detection of unauthorized items and the supervision of those attending.
LAPD assistant commanding officer, Horace Frank, said there will be a sophisticated video surveillance system, some that will not be visible to the public. The cameras will be supplied by Axis Communications, which has been providing the LAPD with camera surveillance for about five years. The cameras will be broadcasting the Oscars in 720P (HDTV quality) and some of the cameras will be about as small as the tip of a ballpoint pen.
The video footage will be able to be seen at the command station. Frank explained the ability to view the footage in real-time provides the security team with situational awareness not just for the officers working the event by also the commanding officers who are watching from the command station.
The security team has thought of everything, including the tons of adoring fans who will show up at the Dolby Theatre just to see their favorite idols. There will be a perimeter set up to show where the public is allowed to be and cameras that will look over the areas.
While the team is setting up perimeters to keep the general public out, they are also asking for their help. While they are standing by searching for their favorite celebrities, they ask them to be aware of suspicious activity.
“If you see something, say something,” Frank said.
Attendees are encouraged to download the app IWATCHLA, which allows users to submit tips and photos anonymously to LAPD.
Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.