Monday, November 21, 2011
USC, UCLA announce increased security
By Arash Markazi
LOS ANGELES -- USC athletic director Pat Haden and UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero released a joint statement Sunday announcing increased security in and around the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for Saturday’s game between the rival schools.
“This year we have increased the emphasis and visibility of game day security, particularly given the 7 p.m. kickoff time,” they said in the statement. “Security staff will be bolstered by over 25 percent for this game, and there is an integrated effort between both universities and a host of local law enforcement organizations to make the entire game experience around the Coliseum safe and secure.”
Both schools are coordinating security efforts with USC Department of Public Safety, University of California Police Department, LAPD, Exposition Park Police, FBI Special Events, Homeland Security, California Alcohol-Beverage Control, and others to minimize any safety concerns on game day.
“You will notice increased staffing presence and bike patrols to go along with a host of enhancements behind the scenes,” they said in the statement. “The Coliseum's standard tailgating policies -- only one parking space per car and no amplified sound -- will be strictly enforced.”
Last year about 40 fans of both schools fought in a Rose Bowl parking lot before the USC-UCLA football game. During the fight, one person was stabbed in the cheek and another was stabbed in the back. Two police officers also suffered minor injuries and three men were arrested after the melee.
For the third straight year the USC-UCLA football game will start at 7 p.m. or later. Despite last year's nighttime incident, a USC spokesman said the conference’s TV partners determine the kickoff times with the schools and extra security measures were already being planned when the game time was set in June. Saturday's game will be televised by Fox Sports Net. There were no major incidents to report when the two schools last played a 7 p.m. game at the Coliseum in 2009.