With the Los Angeles community still reeling from terror attacks in nearby San Bernardino, California less than two weeks ago, bid officials leading the campaign hoping to bring the 2024 Olympics to L.A. said security was a focus for the committee. Officials with the bid group called LA 2024 said Tuesday they have begun to form plans to keep the proposed sporting event safe.
"It’s something we’ve given a lot of thought to," LA 2024 CEO Gene Sykes said, according to Sporting News. "We’ve actually worked closely to get help from city and state and county officials who deal with security and we actually will take some steps that we’ll be ready to announce in the next several weeks that will reflect the kinds of things that we expect to do. It’s obviously a very high priority for us."
The increased focus on security comes after a Dec. 2 mass shooting in San Bernardino that killed 14 people. The suspected shooters in the terror attack in the city about an hour outside of L.A. were purportedly inspired by ISIS. The shooting followed coordinated terror attacks planned and carried out by ISIS in Paris last month that left 130 people dead. Paris is also bidding for the 2024 games.
— LA 2024 (@LA2024) September 14, 2015
"I think security is a concern for everyone in all markets, but it has not been a specific concern that any members have raised about Los Angeles," said LA 2024 Chairman Casey Wasserman, via the Los Angeles Times.
LA 2024 officials met Tuesday with the United States Olympic Committee, which said the U.S. government would take the lead in security for the proposed games, as is often the case for major sporting events such as the Super Bowl. "The discussions that we have with the federal government going forward are very important," United States Olympic Committee chief executive Scott Blackmun said, according to Agence France-Presse. "You cannot skimp on security."
L.A. and Paris are going up against potential host cities Budapest and Rome for the 2024 Games. The International Olympic Committee is expected to choose a winner by September 2017.