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Jun 2012
The Kings, the fans and the LAPD: A great week in L.A.
LAPPL Board of Directors

When the L.A. Kings took a 3-0 lead in the first period of the sixth game of the Stanley Cup playoffs against the New Jersey Devils, the LAPD issued a citywide tactical alert from an abundance of caution. You knew then the Kings were on their way to win their first Stanley Cup in franchise history. Weeks of planning and preparation were about to be tested as thousands of fans decked in black and purple converged on L.A. Live to celebrate.

The morning of what turned out to be the final game, Chief Beck continued to hammer home a constant theme of the playoff series: “If you make trouble tonight, the LAPD will find and arrest you.” The warnings were well advised. After all, memories of the disturbances following the Lakers’ NBA titles in 2009 and 2010 were still fresh. Adding to the concern were images from the large riot that consumed Vancouver last year after the Canucks lost Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals.

As impressive as the Kings were on the ice inside Staples Center, the men and women of the LAPD were impressive on the streets surrounding L.A. Live. Those of us on the scene and many who watched on television were proud of the professionalism and dedication exhibited by the LAPD that ensured a great night in L.A. sports history. The icing on the cake was the repeat performance three days later when the huge crowd turned out for the downtown parade and Staples Center rally.

It was one of those feel-good weeks in L.A. we will long remember and cherish. We would be remiss if we did not recognize the vast majority of the fans who cheered and celebrated their team with pride, and respect for law and order. LAPD Cmdr. Andy Smith summed it up on Channel 4 News hours after the game that clinched the cup: “I think you could say the LAPD are big fans of the Kings fans. They did a great job out here tonight; very peaceful, very good crowd. Everybody was well-behaved and we’re really proud of them.”

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