security set for California's Rose Parade, Rose Bowl
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[December 29, 2015]
By Steve Gorman
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - More than two
dozen federal agencies are joining forces with police to bring an
unprecedented level of security to the annual Rose Parade in Pasadena,
California, in the aftermath of the deadly mass shooting this month in
nearby San Bernardino.
Extraordinary security measures planned for the New Year's Day
event include more than a dozen armed tactical "rapid-response"
teams to be posted along the parade route, along with dozens of
surveillance cameras, bomb-sniffing dogs and radiation-detection
devices, law enforcement officials said.
Some 700,000 spectators are expected to turn out in Old Town
Pasadena, north of the Los Angeles, for the 127th Tournament of
Roses Parade, a 5 1/2-mile procession of flower-adorned floats,
marching bands and equestrian teams. Millions more will watch the
two-hour event on live television.
The 102nd Rose Bowl college football classic after the parade also
will be televised live, with about 9,000 fans expected to pack the
Rose Bowl stadium for the game.
Both the parade and game are designated for the first time among a
handful of major U.S. public events - including the NFL's Super Bowl
- as top-level concerns by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security,
said Mark Selby, deputy special agent in charge of the agency's
investigative bureau in Los Angeles.
Although no specific credible threat has been made against either
Pasadena event, the precautions being taken mark the largest
security operation in the 100-year-plus history of the Rose Parade
and Rose Bowl, Selby said on Monday.
The level-1 security rating was made last year, though Selby
acknowledged that even more personnel were assigned after 14 people
were shot dead Dec. 2 at a holiday gathering by an Islamic extremist
couple in San Bernardino, about 55 miles east of Pasadena.
San Bernardino event sort of upped the ante," he told Reuters.
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Pasadena city spokesman William Boyer said the public will notice a
heightened police presence, with some officers carrying rifles, "and
there will be a lot of things they won't see that will be going on."
Police Chief Phillip Sanchez said less-visible precautions would
include two dozen undercover officers patrolling the parade route,
which also will be monitored by several dozen surveillance cameras.
Additional surveillance is to be provided by U.S. Customs and Border
Protection aircraft flying over the event, Selby said.
Automatic license-plate reading devices also will be set up to
collect data on suspicious vehicles in the area, officials said.
Neither local nor federal officials had precise figures for added
security costs, but Boyer said overall expenses related to parade
protection alone would likely exceed $1 million.
(Reporting by Steve Gorman; Editing by Sara Catania and Cynthia
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