The LAPD will operate a "unified" command post--Lorenzen refuses to reveal its location--where the police will confer with representatives of other city, county and federal agencies. Morning briefings will be held to update commanders on intelligence gathering and related issues. Police are watching the Web sites used by demonstration organizers as one way to determine protest sites and potential hot spots.
Overall, Lorenzen says, demonstrations in Los Angeles could be worse than the recent major protests in Philadelphia, Seattle and Washington, D.C. Anyone who believes otherwise, he thinks, is unrealistic.
Last week, on the Republican National Convention's first day, which was calm, Lorenzen said he hoped that people in Los Angeles would not be "lulled" into a sense that everything would be peaceful here. On the second day, when some rioting broke out, he predicted that Los Angeles' demonstrations would be bigger, better organized and with more potential for illegal activities.
"This is going to be huge," he said. "My fear is that some politicians and others in this city are going to look at Philadelphia and say it's not a big deal and the Police Department is crying wolf. I'm not crying wolf. I believe we will have a significant event."
It is that expectation, however, that instills fear in civil rights attorneys, some local politicians and protesters themselves. They say Lorenzen, and other LAPD officials, are being alarmist.
Handling Protests 'Will Be a Challenge'
Lorenzen probably didn't help his reputation much with these groups when he first hit the local spotlight at a packed City Council meeting at the end of June. There, protesters and others got their first glimpse of the man behind the LAPD's security plans.
Lorenzen, joined by Parks and other high-ranking LAPD officials, sat before the City Council in his dark blue uniform and proclaimed: "It's going to be very, very difficult, ladies and gentleman, when we have 15,000 to 20,000 people outside the fence line [around Staples Center]. It will be a challenge."
He showed a video of demonstrations against the World Trade Organization's meetings in Seattle, prompting jeers from the audience and even from some council members. Demonstrators were seen breaking store windows, hurling bottles, marauding through downtown streets, overwhelming police.
"We believe it's helpful for you folks to see what could happen," Lorenzen told the council.
To Dan Tokaji, staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, Lorenzen's videotape was an attempt "to demonize protesters and create an us-versus-them type of atmosphere."
Lorenzen dismisses the criticism easily and casually. He's been there before. As the head of SWAT--along with his other positions in the department, including chief investigator in the Internal Affairs Division--he grew used to being on the opposite side from the civil rights community.
Lorenzen is already sure he will be named in lawsuits stemming from police activity during the convention for years to come. And he is sure of one other thing too.
"The Police Department is going to be criticized, no matter what happens," he said.
Just four weeks before the convention, the city was sued in federal court by the ACLU on behalf of protest organizers and others who believed that the Police Department's "security zone" around Staples Center was unfair and overly restrictive. They succeeded in forcing the department to allow demonstrators closer to the arena.
Lorenzen, who attended numerous meetings with the city's attorneys and went to court hearings, says the civil rights community has succeeded in creating what will be "a weeklong rock concert at the front door of Staples."
After the court decision, his team was forced to return to the drawing board, updating the plan mostly by increasing the police presence around Staples.
Lorenzen characterizes the process as a nightmare. He uses the word frequently when describing various aspects of his job. He also uses military terms when discussing the department's plans--he holds "table-top exercises," for example, to discuss possible encounters between police and protesters.
In the week before the opening of the convention--or "game day," as Lorenzen and his team call it--the commander likens himself to an old-time bookmaker, who sits at his desk all day answering phone calls.
"I'm ready to go. Let's do it," he said. "Let's just see what happens."