This week's San Diego Comic Con is the biggest date in the geek calendar, expected to attract more than 130,000 visitors. And, like every large public event, security is a big concern. However, Comic Con's guests (compared to, say, your average sports fan or gig goer) complicate security procedures somewhat – with so many cosplay fans in attendance, the large majority of which bringing fake weapons along with their costumes, officials on site have to be especially vigilant in order to ensure no real dangerous weapons make their way into the show.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the show employees 300 former law enforcement personnel, each specially trained to sniff out legitimate weapons that could be hidden among the foam swords and plastic rifles. Around 3,000 "safe" cosplay weapons are expected to be inspected and tagged at the show, with the officials constantly patrolling the show floor to make sure no pointy blades or actual firearms have made their way into the event.
"The Comic-Con fans know the rules and this is their show; they waited a long time for this and want to have a good time," according to the weapon check team lead.
"We're here to make sure that they can do that. Some of these costumes are pretty realistic and by us inspecting them, it makes people just visiting more confident [in their safety]."
It's a fascinating aspect of the cosplay phenomenon that I at least hadn't considered, adding an extra layer of complexity to what's already a busy event for security teams. Head over to the Hollywood Reporter for the full, fascinating read. [Hollywood Reporter]
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