In light of coordinated terrorist attacks that left at least 129 people dead in Paris, Los Angeles Police have added extra patrols at “critical infrastructure” sites and will have extra officers on hand at large public gatherings Saturday, a department spokesman said.
“We are aware of the attacks in Paris and the command staff has been alerted,” Officer Aareon Jefferson of the LAPD’s Media Relations section said.
French officials said at least 129 people were killed and more than 350 were injured in at least six coordinated attacks Friday night at public gathering throughout Paris.
The Islamist extremist group ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attacks.
Jefferson said there was no known threat to Los Angeles, and the department was not on tactical alert. However, department commanders were contacted and officers planned to step up their presence at critical sites and places where large crowds are gathered — such as tonight’s UCLA football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department reported that it was not taking extraordinary measures in response to the attacks.
“While there is no specific credible threat to Los Angeles County, sheriff’s personnel will be reminded to remain vigilant and maintain situational awareness. We urge the public to report any suspicious activity to a local law enforcement agency and if they see something, say something,” according to the department.
Police in Pasadena, where UCLA will be playing Washington State at 7:45 p.m., echoed that advice while explaining that although no threats against the city have been identified, the department “is in ongoing communication with the Joint Terrorism Task Force and local law enforcement agencies … .”
At LAX, spokeswoman Katherine Alvarado said there have been no changes or delays for flights into France. French officials announced late Friday night that flights in and out of the country will continue with heightened security.
The FBI and U.S. Department of Homeland Security were closely monitoring the situation and won’t hesitate to adjust their security posture if deemed appropriate, according to officials at the FBI’s Los Angeles field office.
Both the FBI and DHS share information with local and state authorities and evaluate on an ongoing basis the level of protection at federal facilities, according to the FBI.
Mayor Eric Garcetti said via Twitter there are “no confirmed credible threats here in Los Angeles” in response to the terror attacks in Paris, but he said the city is “taking all necessary precautions for heightened attention for our city.”
“Los Angeles stands with Paris against the horror of these attacks,” Garcetti said. “Our love and prayers are with you.”
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck also expressed solidarity with Paris on Twitter. “No city should have to undergo the sheer terror which took place in Paris,” he said. “LAPD stands with Paris against this unthinkable violence.”
Officials at the French Consulate in Los Angeles announced a vigil for the victims at 5 p.m. today at the Consulate on Santa Monica Boulevard.
Students and officials at Cal State Long Beach, meanwhile, were mourning the death of a 23-year-old CSULB student who became the first known American victim of Friday’s attacks.
Nohemi Gonzalez of El Monte was studying in France as part of an exchange program. Officials have scheduled an on-campus vigil for Sunday at 4 p.m. to honor Gonzalez and the other victims, and CSULB President Jane Close Conoley was planning to address the media today at 2:30 p.m. on campus. Eagles of Death Metal, the Palm Desert rock band that was onstage during one of the attacks in Paris, is cutting its European tour short and will return home.
“The group is going to return,” an unnamed representative with French concert promoter Nous Productions told Agence France-Presse today.
The band was the headliner for the sold-out show at the Le Bataclan theater Friday night and was about halfway through its set when the attacks took place.
One of the band’s crew members, Nick Alexander, 36, of Colchester, Essex in England was confirmed dead today.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights group, condemned the attacks today.
“These savage and despicable attacks on civilians, whether they occur in Paris, Beirut or any other city, are outrageous and without justification,” read a statement released by CAIR’s Los Angeles office. “We condemn these horrific crimes in the strongest terms possible. Our thoughts and prayers are with the loved ones of those killed and injured and with all of France. The perpetrators of these heinous attacks must be apprehended and brought to justice.”
Philippe Ouzeau, a Paris-born waiter at the famed Echo Park French restaurant Taix, said Friday night that he was “sad we let France get to the point where the president (Francois Hollande) declares a state of emergency, a state before a state of war.”
“Like 9/11 changed this county, this is going to change France,” Ouzeau said.
“The only positive aspect I believe is this is going to give more power to the police to do more investigations and try to prevent these things from happening again.”
A media representative referred questions about the attacks to the French embassy in Washington.
At the French-language school Le Lycee Francais de Los Angeles in West Los Angeles, a person who answered the phone said school administrators did not want to comment, saying they were mourning “a great tragedy.”
—City News Service