Security At The Emmy Awards

Picture of Mary Kate McGrath By Mary Kate McGrath


What Does It Take To Manage Security At The Emmy Awards?

On Sunday, September 17th Stephen Colbert will host the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. It’s a big year for the event, which takes place during one of the most revolutionary periods in television history. Major stars will be in attendance as both nominees and presenters, including Alec Baldwin, Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Tracee Ellis Ross, Nicole Kidman, and more. In light of recent events, attendees and audiences might have concerns about event security. The Los Angeles Police Department and related personnel plan to keep guests safe, and it takes a concerted effort to protect a large-scale, high profile event like the Emmy Awards.

2016 Emmy Awards

In previous years, law enforcement has taken steps to ensure the evening is safe for everyone. The 2016 Emmys occurred days after explosions in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood and in New Jersey, and LAPD increased security as a precaution.  The police department issued a statement to assure Los Angeles residents that the threat had been assessed, and that safety at the awards was ensured. “People attending these events can most certainly feel safe, as our LAPD officers and other city partners have taken step to ensure a secure environment,” Police Chief Charlie Beck said in a statement. The statement also urged all participants in the show to stay vigilant, and report any suspicious behavior to an anonymous tip line. 2-Way anonymous tip texting is a tool often used for large-event safety, and will likely be available to those in the area for this year’s show.

2017 Academy Awards

While an exact security plan for the evening is not made public, the heightened security at similar events this year can offer some insight into what it takes to manage public safety for Hollywood’s biggest award shows. According to Variety, LAPD devoted approximately 500 officers to protection detail for the Academy Awards in February, 2017. The street and entrance outside of the Dolby Theatre, where the event traditionally takes place, was tented for the second year in a row. Every single one of the 3,300 guests had to pass through a three-tiered security perimeter before stepping onto the red carpet.

In addition, the LAPD’s Major Crimes Division and Intelligence division kept a lookout for threats against the event. “We have planned for all contingencies, from protests to even a potential terrorist attack and that is all [embedded] into the security plan, which is built on concentric rings of security,” Commander Blake Chow told the publication. The department was ready for any scenario that might arise over the course of the evening, and no major threats were detected before the show date. With a multi-faceted approach, law enforcement was able to manage public safety for Hollywood’s most well known event.

The Academy has a history of prioritizing security, and protects guests against threats of any nature. The highly-publicized affair is a potential target for violent criminals, as well as protestors, stalkers, and other risks. In 2015, the Hollywood Reporter published an extended look at the heightened state of security for the event. According to the publication, the work began months before the event even occurred, and everyone attending, from journalists to the evening’s host, (which was Neil Patrick Harris in 2016), was subject to a background check. Guests were forbidden from posting credentials to social media to prevent counterfeit passes to the event. The magazine even reported that undercover officers in formal wear mingled with the celebrities and kept watch from the bleachers in casual wear.

2016 Golden Globes

The Golden Globes also made headlines for implementing a massive security effort. Variety reported that multiple law enforcement agencies and private services were involved, including the FBI, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, and the Beverly Hills Police Department. In 2016, an effort to establish a check-in system for stars leaving the event and heading to the after party proved ineffective and left guests with long wait times. With the assistance of private security officers, event coordinators were able to revise the system by adding more security stations for processing party guests and faster bus routes through security checkpoints. According Lieutenant Lincoln Hoshino of the Beverly Hills Police Department, private security took on a lot of responsibility for this event, though that is not necessarily protocol.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

2017 Emmy Awards

In the wake of recent domestic and international events, and during a charged political year, the Emmy Awards on September 17 are likely to embrace technological advancements and other strategies to ensure that the show and surrounding areas are secure. Read more about five security trends that are boosting event safety:

If the past is any indication, the LAPD and private security teams will have a comprehensive plan to manage the public’s safety at Sunday night’s Emmy Awards. Recent occurrences, from the attack on Manchester Arena to the chaos in Charlottesville, have made the general public question their safety during large-scale events and community gatherings. Guests for a prominent award show like Emmys need to feel protected, and public safety officials have approached the event with a strategy that they are likely to implement once again this year.



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Mary Kate McGrath

Written by Mary Kate McGrath

Mary Kate is a content specialist and social media manager for the Rave Mobile Safety team. She writes about public safety for the state & local and education spheres.


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