Sunday, April 10, 2011
'World Series-level' security for Giants
By Ramona Shelburne
SAN FRANCISCO -- The San Francisco Giants will employ "World Series-level" security measures for Monday's game against the Los Angeles Dodgers to help prevent any retaliatory incidents from the Opening Day beating of Giants fan Bryan Stow at Dodger Stadium, according to the team's senior vice president for stadium operations, Jorge Costa.
Monday's game is the first between the two teams in San Francisco since the brutal attack on Stow in the Dodger Stadium parking lot on March 31.
Stow has been in a medically-induced coma at a Los Angeles-area hospital since the attack. The two suspects in the beating are still at large.
Earlier in the week, Costa had estimated that the security force for Monday's game would be "15-25 percent" larger than a typical home game. But after meetings with his staff and San Francisco police on Sunday, he said the size of that force would be even larger, probably 30-40 percent bigger than a typical home game.
"We've done our due diligence. We've put the resources together. We've got the plan. Now it's just executing it," Costa said. "We're hoping it turns out to be a nice event, but realistically we know there will be some element of hubris, testosterone and alcohol that gets involved. That's the way it is.
"As far as the Giants management is concerned, there isn't going to be any reason why a Dodger fan or any other opposing fan can't coexist with Giants fans."
Asked if he had any message for Giants fans who might want retribution for Stow's beating, Costa said, "Don't show up. There's no room for people like that here. Period."
On Friday, Dodgers owner Frank McCourt announced that the team would pay for a "redoubled" police force at Dodger Stadium, beginning with the team's home game against the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday.
McCourt and the Dodgers have come under intense public scrutiny in the wake of the incident for their sluggish public response and the perception that the conditions at Dodger Stadium have deteriorated in recent years.
"I've heard the fans and the citizens of this community, they're uncomfortable with the behavior of some at Dodger Stadium," McCourt said at a news conference on Friday. "I have one message for the fans and the citizens of Los Angeles: I hear you loudly, and I hear you clearly."
Earlier in the week, the Dodgers announced they had hired former Los Angeles police chief William Bratton and his security consulting firm to do a thorough analysis of their existing security procedures, and develop long-term solutions to help improve conditions at the stadium, the second-oldest park in the National League.
On Friday, Los Angeles police chief Charlie Beck and mayor Antonio Villaraigosa outlined a "zero tolerance policy" for fan misconduct that will be implemented immediately.
"When you go into Dodger Stadium, you're going to meet a Los Angeles police officer. When you leave Dodger Stadium you're going to bid farewell to a Los Angeles police officer," Beck said. "We will be a constant presence."
Previously, the Dodgers have been responsible for hiring security for their home games. They have used a combination of private security guards and off-duty police officers who do not wear a uniform and do not carry a gun.
Starting Thursday, those off-duty officers will be in uniform and approved to carry a weapon.
Ramona Shelburne is a columnist and reporter for ESPNLosAngeles.com.