Following deadly terror attacks on civilians in Brussels, Paris and San Bernardino, local and federal authorities say they have heightened security at Southern California’s biggest music gathering: the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.
“You can be assured that in the preparation and planning for this event, we have considered every eventuality,” Indio Police Sgt. Dan Marshall said. “We are confident we have enough resources to respond to any situation during the festival.”
Wary of potential lone-wolf attacks, Indio police say they are working with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, Homeland Security, the FBI and state law enforcement. They will be a visible presence in and around the Empire Polo Club officials said.
Marshall declined to provide specifics on the enhanced security and surveillance, but noted that officials also will rely on festivalgoers themselves for information. Attendees, Marshall said, are the eyes and ears of the community and should immediately report anything they see that looks suspicious.
“Leave the cockatoo at home,” Marshall said.
Marshall said that the no-drugs edict included medical marijuana, adding that there will be amnesty bins to dispose of contraband.
The sergeant said the festival is set for a perfect first weekend. “The winds right now are dying down, and the venue is just as beautiful as can be.”
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