Gay Pride Festival called subdued; security heightened.
Sheriff's Dept. prepared for anything.
June 12, 2016
Concerns were especially high as the 46th annual Gay Pride Parade, America's oldest and largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning gathering, had expected to attract over 400,000 along West Hollywood's Santa Monica Boulevard by the 11 a.m. start.
Sheriff's Lt. Edward Ramirez told City News Service this morning, "In light of the unfortunate shooting incident in Orlando, Florida, the Sheriff's Department is fully prepared to respond to a similar situation, should the need exist,":
"As a result of the Pride Weekend, security has been increased. We, as a department, are in heightened awareness and our Criminal Intelligence Bureau has been activated today and they are gathering and disseminating information, as they receive it."
"We want to ensure the public that had a large law enforcement presence and we encourage (the public) to come to West Hollywood and enjoy the parade, music, food and festivities."
The normally rambunctious celebration of liberation and hedonism was subdued with many of the early arrivals for today's Pride Weekend seen in tears. One woman told Los Angeles TV station KTLA Channel 5, "But I think that for me (the mass murder) is more of a reason to stand out here to say, 'I am gender queer and these are my people."
The LA County Sheriff's Department issued this statement: Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families of this horrific attack which occurred in Orlando early this morning.
While there are no specific or credible threats received by law enforcement for the greater Los Angeles area, our personnel maintain a heightened state of situational awareness and remain vigilant in the protection of our communities. Sheriff Jim McDonnell is communicating with our local, state and federal partners.
The Department’s Operation Center is open and actively managing events surrounding the Gay Pride Parade and Festival in the city of West Hollywood. Hundreds of uniformed deputies are on-duty to ensure the safety of all those participating in this event. Out of an abundance of caution, we have enhanced our security presence for the event and have tactical units at the ready to prevent and respond to any circumstances.
A male was detained in the city of Santa Monica this morning who was in possession of weapons and other dangerous material. Any possible nexus with this individual and the Pride event in West Hollywood is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department employs thousands of uniformed deputy sheriffs who are on-duty 24-hours a day, seven days a week, patrolling and protecting the many diverse and varying communities we serve throughout Los Angeles County. As we go about our day, we ask the public to remain vigilant and report any information about potential incidents to their local law enforcement. If you prefer to provide information anonymously, you may call “Crime Stoppers” by dialing (800) 222-TIPS (8477), or texting the letters TIPLA plus your tips to CRIMES (274637), or by using the website http://lacrimestoppers.org/.
If you see something of an emergency nature, please call 9-1-1.