LOS ANGELES – When United States Congresswoman Maxine Waters arrived at Exposition Park in central Los Angeles to speak to 500 people at the California African American Museum on July 5, 2017, museum security officers were as watchful as ever over their special guest and those who came to see her.
“These law enforcement officers have their share of politicians and celebrities coming and going at Exposition Park,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. “Our CSLEA members who enforce laws and provide protection at this huge complex of museums know the facilities, know where problems could possibly occur, they check people and the items they are bringing in, they are there for the safety and protection of visitors, high profile or not.”
Museum security officers and supervising museum security officers provided protection to Waters as she arrived, spoke for approximately an hour, and departed. They set up the security entrance for guests, checked purses and bags, and watched for anyone that might cause harm to Waters or visitors.
Minus some minor issues with President Trump supporters, the event ran smoothly, according to CSLEA Member and Museum Security Officer Larry Pena. Pena said officers took no chances, had scanned the facility and were ready for any possible surprises, such as a transient spotted in bushes along a back exit used by Waters as she left the facility.
Each year, millions of people visit Exposition Park. Museum security officers are responsible for patrolling and enforcing the law within Exposition Park’s 160 acres. While on duty, all supervising museum security officers and museum security officers have the power to arrest individuals under the California Penal Code section 830.7. Exposition Park includes the California Science Center, the California African American Museum, the Howard F. Ahmanson Building, and the Wallis Annenberg Building for Science Learning and Innovation. Exposition Park is also the home of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Exposition Park Rose Garden, Natural History Museum, Space Shuttle Endeavour Exhibition, and the Science Center School which is a collaboration of the California Science Center and Los Angeles Unified School District, it is a Kindergarten through 5th grade public elementary school which consists of 28 classrooms, a library/media center and multi-purpose dining room.