Local law enforcement officials coordinating security for the Democratic National Convention issued booklets to Los Angeles city employees this week listing all the hotels where hundreds of delegates are staying and tidbits on how to deal with such issues as bomb threats, suspicious packages and tear gas exposure.
"Our role in the DNC 2000 is to ensure a safe and orderly environment for this historic event," Mayor Richard Riordan wrote to employees in one version of the pamphlet. "This challenge provides us with the opportunity to demonstrate our professionalism while excelling at all levels."
But some City Hall insiders said they were alarmed to find that tear gas exposure was casually mentioned, along with common health hazards like sunburns and heat cramps. For weeks, city officials have expressed concern that police and protesters will engage in violent clashes during the convention.
"It's like, 'Welcome to L.A., bring your gas mask,' " said one official.
Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas also questioned the wisdom of listing the delegates' hotels.
"Why on one hand do you give instructions about tear gas and on the other hand you blatantly publicize where delegates will be housed?" Ridley-Thomas said. "It doesn't really demonstrate a sophistication with respect to a security plan, does it?"