San Diego Police hit a home run...
Local law enforcement hits a home run
June 30, 2001
There was much anxiety leading to San Diego's four-day Bio2001 convention.
City officials' worst fear was that the gathering of biotechnology executives, investors, scientists and other interested parties would provide a backdrop for the kind of street violence and property destruction that disrupted a World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle two years ago.
But there was no mayhem, no property damage. The half-dozen local law enforcement agencies assigned to keep order during Bio2001 succeeded beyond expectation. Or to put it in baseball vernacular: They hit a collective home run.
Assistant San Diego Police Chief John Welter was tasked with heading security for the high-profile convention. He began making preparations for an expected 12,000 convention attendees and 5,000 to 8,000 anti-biotech protesters.
As it turns out, the number of protesters fell well short of projections. And the organizers of the protests say local law enforcement is to blame.
"We have been treated for the last few weeks as criminals," one protester lamented. "The police and the biotech industry have waged a campaign of intimidation."
We think not. We think the San Diego Police Department, the San Diego County Sheriff's Office, the San Diego Harbor Police, the California Highway Patrol, the FBI field office and other agencies that helped to keep the peace during Bio2001 were just doing their jobs. And they deserve cheers of appreciation from San Diegans.
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