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Boston bombers are 'monsters,' L.A. City Council president says

April 16, 2013|By Catherine Saillant and Andrew Blankstein

Los Angeles authorities said Tuesday they planned more vigilant security for the foreseeable future in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings.

The violence sparked outrage by some Los Angeles leaders. L.A. Council President Herb Wesson called out those who planted the bombs Tuesday.

"I don’t know what these monsters believe that they are going to accomplish. But when we have horrific acts of violence like yesterday it only brings us closer as a nation," Wesson said in the L.A. City Council chambers.

“When explosions began, a great number of police officers, firefighters and volunteers just like you and me, they ran to the blast," he added. "They didn’t run away from it. I’ve always been proud to be an American. But whenever there’s an incident like this it shows what type of people we really are.”

He then called for a moment of silence.

LAX officials said they are increasing patrols, beefing up checkpoints and using more bomb-sniffing dogs.

"While there is no information to suggest that there is any nexus to the Los Angeles area, in an abundance of caution, Airport Police has increased its presence at LAX, L.A./Ontario International and Van Nuys airports by deploying bomb-detection canines, additional patrol officers and security personnel," L.A. World Airports said in a statement.

PHOTOS: Explosions at Boston Marathon 

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the people in Boston in the aftermath of this senseless tragedy," Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said in a statement. "We are working closely with our law enforcement partners to monitor the situation and stand ready to aid Boston in any way possible. The LAPD and other public safety agencies will remain vigilant at all public and sporting events in Los Angeles."

California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, in his role as acting governor while Gov. Jerry Brown is out of the state, released a statement saying, "These events are a reminder to remain vigilant and always report anything unusual to your local law enforcement agency."

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said Monday that his department will increase officer deployments at sporting events.

Beginning with the Dodgers-San Diego Padres baseball game Monday evening, Beck said, the additional police presence would include bomb-squad personnel, dogs and other "precautions geared to preventing a similar event."

"We will be increasing deployment at all scheduled sporting events in the near future," Beck said. "I’ve already been in contact with the Dodgers about this."

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said it, too, would step up patrols.

"While the cause of the explosions this morning at the Boston Marathon are still under investigation, our vigilance has been raised," Sheriff Lee Baca said in a statement.

"The heightened alert of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department includes increased patrols to create a more visible presence where people congregate, such as government buildings, shopping centers, athletic events and public transit,” he added.

Beck said the LAPD's thoughts and hearts go out to all the victims, their families and the Boston Police Department.

He said an officer from the LAPD's victorious Baker-to-Las Vegas women's running team completed the Boston Marathon and was safe. Still, he added, other people from Los Angeles could have been among those participating or present to watch the contest. He said he had not been contacted about any injuries or deaths related to the explosions.

The LAPD had planned to increase the number of officers at the Dodgers-Padres game anyway, expecting it would draw more people after a brawl last week in San Diego left Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke injured.

ALSO:

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Man who died in blast lived in foil-wrapped home, filmed neighbors 

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andrew.blankstein@latimes.com

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