“We are in a state of high alert,” a source at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department told Deadline today of the 77th Globes as tensions escalate in the Middle East and Iranian and American officials offer threats of more explosive action.
While officially the Alex Villanueva-led LASD had no statement on this evening’s event at the Beverly Hilton, we are also being told that there is a greater than ever presence by the Department “both seen by the naked eye and behind the scenes.”
As checkpoints slow down nominees and other guests arrival today, specifics were not provided of how the already traditionally tightly locked down Globes were going to be even tighter this year. However, from what insiders says, cyber, electronic and drone coverage does seem to be three areas that police have ramped up in the past few days after the elimination on January 3 of the Revolutionary Guards’ Soleimani in Iraqi as ordered by President Trump.
While in the jurisdiction of the Beverly Hills Police and Chief Sandra Spagnoli, the Globes, like the Oscars, the Emmys and the Grammys, are a partnership between several local departments and federal agencies like the FBI and Homeland Security. “We always treat this event with all the security we can provide,” BHPD’s Officer Arbuckle said Sunday, as Chief Spannoli implied online earlier.
— Sandra Spagnoli (@Chief_Spagnoli) January 5, 2020
“There hasn’t been any chatter or intel suggesting anything direct, but strong more general threats like we’ve heard the past few days demand heightened vigilance,” another highly placed law enforcement official says of the raised security level for this year’s Ricky Gervais hosted and Hollywood Foreign Press Association run ceremony.
While the BHPD on Friday reported that their security measures remain unchanged, it’s almost always a mix of months of planning plus a game day decision in regards to how big law enforcement increases their footprint – if required. Following the hit on the high ranking and much feared Soleimani on January and the saber rattling fallout, that local footprint was certainly increased after yesterday’s last minute anti-war protest initiated by the ANSWER Coalition, Code Pink and Veterans for Peace drew hundreds in LA’s Pershing Square.
It’s that type of crowding that has the BHPD, LAPD, the LASD, the FBI and others stepping it up with the Globes as the organizations pool resources such as SWAT teams, helicopters, drones and intelligence. Additionally, the Globes according to sources has a bigger budget for private security than other awards shows, such as the Emmys.
In that context, of great concern always is the location of the Globes itself at the Beverly Hilton.
“It’s kind of a choke point,” says Kent Moyer, CEO/President of the World Protection Group whose security firm is providing detail at a number of Globe parties over the weekend. “You come into that main area; if something happens it’s going to be chaos to get out in any direction. I would have concerns about that. It’s such a high-profile area with neighboring properties and hotels. Having an increased perimeter is one level of safety.”
Among the road closures are N. Santa Monica Blvd in westbound and eastbound directions near the Beverly Hilton. As well on Wilshire there is local access only to residents in the 10200-10300 blocks of Wilshire Blvd. and Los Angeles Country Club visitors from 7 AM today to 4 AM on January 6. There are also closures around Whittier Drive, Trenton Drive, Greenway and Carmelita/Elevado/Lomitas Avenues.
Of course, broadcaster NBC have some non-security worries of their own with concerns that the NFL Wild Card game between the currently winning Seattle Seahawks and past Super Bowl champs the Philadelphia Eagles may spill over into the Globes. Undoubtedly great for ratings, that spill over looks unlikely right now with the score at 17-9 for the Emerald City team.