LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) – Security will be extra tight at New Year’s celebration events in Los Angeles, New York and Washington, DC on Thursday.
In fact, security will be the tightest in history at the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl. There are no known threats, according to authorities. But the Department of Homeland Security is asking those cities to be on heightened alert.
The Rose Parade and Rose Bowl are at the top of the list when it comes to potential terror targets, equivalent to the Super Bowl, according to federal law enforcement authorities.
Seven hundred thousand spectators lining a 5-mile parade route to watch the iconic event televised live worldwide makes for an enticing target, authorities said.
And this year, there will be more security and technology deployed than ever before.
Mark Selby is the Deputy Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security in Southern California. “It’s unprecedented in the amount of security. There’s never been a time that there had been more law enforcement personnel seen and unseen. And there’s never been a time that there’s been more technology deployed in order to make it a more secure set of event,” Selby said.
He said the law enforcement personnel will carry bigger guns. Cameras will line the entire parade route. Bomb-detecting dogs, radiation detectors, the SWAT team and other security measures will be prominent at the event.
Selby said spectators should be vigilant and report any suspicious activities. “Every single person really is part of a much larger early warning system,” he said.
Most of all, he advised, do not to succumb to fear. “Enjoying the Rose Parade with your family and seeing the sparkle in children’s eyes as they see the floats come by. That’s how we win.”
A nonemergency hotline will be available for attendees at (626) 744-4241. For information about what you are allowed to take to the parade, visit the city of Pasadena’s website.
Security will also be top priority Thursday night at Grand Park in Downtown Los Angeles for the biggest New Year’s Eve celebration on the West Coast. While 50,000 people enjoy the music, 3-D digital projection and food, there will be more police making sure the crowd can party without problems.
Capt. Don Graham of the LAPD said: “We’re deploying officers on the perimeter. We’re deploying consistent patrols inside of the location. We have observation points. We’ll be utilizing technology such as stationary cameras. Just want everybody to have a safe and happy new year.”