Thousands of bicyclists pedal up and down Spring Street in downtown Los… (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles…)
Los Angeles and Long Beach police are increasing patrols on some of Southern California’s largest events this weekend, like the CicLAvia biking event and the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, as the region remains jittery from the Boston bombing attacks.
Officials said to expect more undercover officers and bomb sweeps.
"We're going to have plenty of security. ... There's no specific threat to the L.A. region. None. I would know," Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa told reporters Friday. "We're inviting people to come out. We're not going to let anyone change our life."
Long Beach police Chief Jim McDonnell said there will be increased uniformed and undercover police presence at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, which typically draws 170,000 spectators over three days.
And Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said more police would be on hand for the Clippers playoff game Saturday and CicLAvia, when 15 miles of L.A.'s roads shut down on Sunday from downtown to Venice Beach for bicyclists, skateboarders and walkers; last October, about 100,000 attended.
The police chiefs, however, urged the public to be ever-more vigilant about reporting suspicious behavior.
"This just reminds us how simple it is for a couple of individuals to commit an act of terrorism that affects the whole nation," Beck said. "In those large crowd situations, we can't be everywhere. We can't see everything. But the public does. And if you see something, you gotta say something. 1-877-A-THREAT."
Beck noted that in the Boston case, it was a member of the crowd that gave significant information that led to the identification of the suspects.
McDonnell also urged the public to contact the police if they see hints that a person may be planning to take destructive, violent action. "Too often people think 'I don't want to bother the police.' That's what we're there for. We want to know ahead of time so we can prevent it."
Another large event occurring this weekend is the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at USC, which could attract 150,000 people.
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500 authors appearing at this weekend's Los Angeles Times Festival of Books