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Security ramped up ahead of NBA All-Star game

The LAPD and Homeland Security are ramping up security for the NBA All-Star weekend at Staples Center in downtown L.A.

February 15, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Lakers fans are celebrating the National Basketball League All-Star weekend coming to Los Angeles in just a few days. The Los Angeles Police Dept. is ramping up security for the big event. They're welcoming the Department of Homeland Security, fresh off its Super Bowl detail in Dallas. Preparations are being made at the Staples Center.

Thousands of people are going to be descending on the Staples Center and the surrounding area for the All-Star game and the parties that go along with it. There will also be thousands of extra LAPD officers and Homeland Security police on duty, all of them urging extra vigilance.

The last NBA All-Star game in Los Angeles was seven years ago and brought thousands of people and millions of dollars into the city. The crowds and money are going to be at least as big this year, but because of world events security is still a big concern.

"Well of course we've increased security," said LAPD Chief Charlie Beck. "We have over 3,000 Los Angeles Police officers committed to this series of events over a five-day period."

The All-Star game is Sunday at Staples, where there will be signs and reminders everywhere for people to share responsibility.

Last week's Super Bowl in Dallas was part of the teamwork between professional sports and the Dept. of Homeland Security, encouraging people to report suspicious activity.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and NBA Commissioner David Stern will continue that partnership.

"If a fan at the All-Star game or an American in other places sees something that is potentially dangerous, say something about it to local law enforcement or to someone in authority," said Napolitano.

The television monitors and print materials at the game will, as at the Super Bowl, carry the message "If you see something say something."

"We hope that this partnership will emphasize basically that security is a shared responsibility, underscoring the importance of identifying and reporting suspicious activity," said Stern.

"We have already had reports, not against NBA facilities per se, but as a result of If You See Something Say Something Campaign that have resulted in opening investigations," said Napolitano.

Beck echoes the need for everyone to share responsibility.

"The prevention of terrorist incidents, the prevention of disorder is everybody's business, and the more cooperation we get from the public, the more information that we get to our various systems, the safe we can make people," said Beck.