Thursday, April 7, 2011

Dodgers Hire Ex-NYC Police Commish To Assess Stadium Security

The Los Angeles Dodgers have hired former NYC Police Commissioner and LAPD Cheif William Bratton to evaluate security policies and procedures at Dodger Stadium after a 41 year-old man was severely beaten in the stadium parking on Opening Day.

Hundreds of people formed a prayer vigil outside County-USC Hospital in Los Angeles in support of the "critically-injured" San Francisco Giants fan while the announcement to hire Bratton was made.

Security at Dodger Stadium was questioned after Bryon Stow was set upon by two men on March 31.  Stow, a paramedic from Santa Clara, is in a medically-induced coma, according to a spokesman from the LAPD.  Stow suffered a fractured skull and trauma to his brain said his neurologist, Dr. Gabriel Zada.

The beating has outraged the community-at-large and has fans complaining that attending a Dodger home game has become very dangerous.  L.A. officials have been calling for better security around the park for years.

Bratton, who has headed police forces in Boston, New York City and L.A. was hired to help the beleaguered franchise quiet the outcries and prevent the public relations nightmare from happening again.

Team owner Frank McCourt--who is already embroiled in a messy divorce involving the team with his wife Jamie--said that acquiring the expertise of Bratton is a step in the right direction.  "Bill Bratton is widely credited with spearheading modern community policing in America," said McCourt.  "There is no one better to lead a top-to-bottom review of our current practices and make recommendations to be implemented now and into the future."

Bratton was appointed as NYC Police Commissioner by  Mayor Rudolph Giuliani in 1994.  For two years, Bratton was credited with being a major force in modernizing the force and turning the crime-ridden streets into safe havens.

The reward for the arrest of Stow's two Dodger-clad assailants has increased to over $100,000.

According to the LAPD, Giants fan Stow and his friends were leaving Dodger Stadium when two men taunted then hit Stow from behind.  He was kicked while on the ground.  The suspects are described as male Hispanics between the ages of 18 and 25.

According to L.A. County supervisor Michael Antonovich, the fright factor outside the ballpark is real.  "For anyone to suggest security at Dodger  Stadium is adequate is simply putting their head in the sand," he said.

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