ECHO PARK — With thousands of fans and their autos descending on Dodger Stadium for Friday’s season opener, the LAPD is planning to deploy its own team of blue to keep things orderly in the ballpark and surrounding neighborhoods, where opening day can resemble a cross between Mardi Gras on Bourbon Street and a SigAlert on the 5. The LAPD is preparing to deploy a large contingent of officers on foot, car and bike. Some will begin their season opener shift as early as tonight to prepare for Friday’s game.
The LAPD’s line up includes Officer Gina Chovan of the Northeast Division and Lt. Wes Buhrmester of the Rampart Division. They provided some details about what their day will be like on Friday:
Officer Gina Chovan, Northeast Division
I will not only be monitoring local streets around stadium but businesses on Sunset Blvd for large crowd gatherings. I am off for one day and right back at 5:00 am Friday morning to assist with any tailgating or unruly groups that want to set up. As you well know, LAPD will be enforce from 8 pm Thursday to deter any illegal activity.
Lt. Wes Buhrmester, Rampart Division
Tomorrow morning, as part of a larger opening day operation, I have responsibility for the area outside of the stadium west of Stadium Way. This includes palm tree row, Scott Avenue, and the area around Barlow Hospital and the fire training center. Designated Team Blue, I’ll have about 25 officers with me, and we start at 4:00 am. Opening day activity is our sole responsibility.
Traffic flow will be an obvious concern, as will people partying in the park, which will have its own deployment. Please let me know what residential areas have been badly afflicted on past opening days, and we’ll patrol them (I’ll be out there in a black and white, not in a command post). Give me intersections or hundred blocks of streets, and I’ll address it. The goal of Operations-Central Bureau, who is running the detail, is to first ensure the safety of residents and visitors, then prevent crime and quality of life issues in residential areas, and maintaining traffic management.
Enjoy your day, ladies and gentlemen, and we’ll see how tomorrow goes!