Dodger Stadium Security: Chief Charlie Beck Speaks Out
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Police will heighten security at Los Angeles Dodgers home games after a severe beating at the season opener left a San Francisco Giants fan with brain damage.
"You're going to see a sea of blue, but it's not going to be Dodgers blue. It's going to be LAPD blue," police Chief Charlie Beck said Thursday. "This is going to be a game-changer."
Beck asked the team to pay for the deployment of uniformed officers and was negotiating the amount with team officials.
He declined to estimate how much the extra personnel would cost or how many officers would be deployed but said he would spare no expense to ensure public safety at Dodger Stadium.
"We try to let venues take care of their own security. If they can't, I step in," Beck said. "I'm going to do what it takes."
Bryan Stow, 42, a paramedic from Santa Cruz, remained in critical condition at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center after he was attacked last week by two men wearing Dodgers attire in the stadium parking lot because Stow was wearing a Giants jersey. Witnesses told police the men were drunk.
Officials scrambled to keep the incident from damaging the city's image and to prevent further outbreaks of violence between fans of the archrival Dodgers and Giants.
"It's an aberration," Councilman Ed Reyes said. "Dodger Stadium is part of our identity. We need to restore our confidence."
Deputy Chief Jose Perez said the release of composite sketches of the suspects generated 80 leads that were being followed by a team of detectives.
"We have our best working on this," he said.
A reward for information leading to an arrest has grown to $150,000, with donors including the City Council, the Dodgers, Giants, Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich and Stow's employer American Medical Response.
In addition, the Dodgers have hired former LAPD Chief William Bratton to study lighting, alcohol sales and other security issues.
"That's a long-term fix that will hopefully allow me to back off some of the uniformed deployment," Beck said.
The chief also said he was in favor of overturning a policy that bars off-duty officers from carrying guns when they attend games.
The Giants, along with American Medical Response, plan to collect donations for The Bryan Stow Fund at Monday's game against the Dodgers in San Francisco.
The Giants said they would contribute $10,000, while their community service organization - the Giants Community Fund - will hold a silent auction during the game to raise money.
Stow's family and sympathizers held a candlelight vigil Wednesday night outside the medical center where Stow is hospitalized.
"We're very optimistic that Bryan will make the best recovery that he can," cousin John Stow said. "We're hoping that his damage is to a minimum."