Dodgers Hire Former L.A. Police Chief To Consult On Stadium Security
The Dodgers yesterday "responded to the national fervor stemming from the beating of a Giants fan in the Dodger stadium parking lot last week by hiring" former L.A. Police Chief William Bratton to "assess their stadium security measures," according to Steve Dilbeck of the L.A. TIMES. Bratton, who served as L.A. Police Chief for seven years before leaving in October of '07, will evaluate the Dodgers' "policies and procedures related to security and fan services at Dodger Stadium." He also is "scheduled to work with the organization to develop a security blueprint for the stadium and parking lots." The Dodgers said that Bratton and his team "would begin consulting immediately." Dilbeck noted the Dodgers have "received criticism for a slow response to the beating of" Giants fan Bryan Stow after their season opener last Thursday at Dodger Stadium (LATIMES.com, 4/6). MLB.com's Evan Drellich noted Bratton is "considered an expert in the field," and he "developed a track record of reducing violent crimes" in his police chief role (MLB.com, 4/6).
NO COMMENT FROM DODGERS: In L.A., T.J. Simers notes he called the Dodgers asking to speak to Owner Frank McCourt "about the security concerns fans have expressed in email," but VP/PR & Broadcasting Josh Rawitch said, "He's not available to speak with you." Simers: "Dodgers fans seem to be indicating this is the appropriate time to discuss their safety, but Rawitch said the team will have no comment on security issues." Rawitch said that "discussions are underway to stage an event where fans can donate to help defray medical costs" for Stow, but when asked whether the team will contribute to medical costs, Rawitch said, "I'll have to get back to you on that." Meanwhile, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig "made it very clear he's upset" by the beating. Selig: "Baseball has enjoyed tremendous attendance the past seven years, and that's because it's been family entertainment. And to make such a human experience so great, safety at the ballpark is absolutely critical" (L.A. TIMES, 4/7).
SHAKEN CITY: In N.Y., Christian Red writes the incident has "outraged" L.A., with one L.A. county government source saying that attending a Dodgers home game "has become 'very, very scary' and that the incident has been a 'huge PR snafu' for the franchise" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 4/7). An L.A. TIMES editorial states "whatever caused the incident, it leaves us stunned and frustrated." The editorial: "We're not suggesting the stadium go dry and games turn into prayer services. And we realize that the violence is the fault of just a few fans. But trying to fix it has got to be the work of all the fans. They can start by reporting anything they know about last week's incident" (L.A. TIMES, 4/7).
BEHIND IN THE COUNT: SI.com's Jon Heyman wrote McCourt "has an uphill battle to keep the Dodgers." But he is a "scrapper, and he's also litigious, so he can't be completely ruled out." The divorce proceedings involving McCourt and his ex-wife, Jamie, are "being watched with great interest by several other owners who have seemed intrigued by its soap operatic quality and almost unseemly details about the McCourts' over-the-top lavish lifestyle considering they aren't among baseball's richest owners" (SI.com, 4/6).