Smooth and ever-present, the Pomona Police showed a singular presence in covering the HARD Day of the Dead event October 31st-November 1st at the Fairplex. Tens of thousands of attendees, going back and forth to multiple exhibition halls that served as stages, presented many challenges for the task force, whose presence was evident at the entrance where several “Amnesty” drug boxes were available. In addition, thorough searches were conducted at the security check-in. In one instance, a man claiming to be a performer tried to re-enter the venue and insisted that he should be able to immediately enter without search because “a man in a blue t-shirt told me I could.”
A few times, the crowd was temporarily held at the doors of the exhibition hall while a sweep went on, then calmly and professionally readied for the rest of the show. Concertgoers seemed happy with the outcomes. Law and order prevailed.
L.A County Board of Supervisors are awaiting the Task Force Report about the event – which was trimmed down from 65,000 available tickets per night to 40,000, ages raised from 18 to 21 – all in an effort to minimize the usage of drugs so as not to repeat the tragic demise of two teenagers at the summer HARD event, who apparently had consumed their drugs earlier and off-site. While the August Summer Hard Fest had a multi-agency presence, which did a thorough and calming at-the-ready job, the Pomona Police Department was the singular agency at the fore over Halloween weekend.
The more cautious attitude pervaded the set of the headlining act, Skrillex, who jumped high onto his module in mid-performance to commend all for the positive atmosphere, encourage concertgoers to enjoy responsibly, have a healthy time, and travel home safely.
Spokespersons for the Pomona Police, L.A. County Supervisors and concert promoter Live Nation have yet to comment.
(All photos: Barbara Reilley)