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Unread 10-15-2013, 12:04 PM   #1
KVN
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Security Nonsense at this Year's NYCC

Anyone else go to New York Comic Con this year? The con developed this new security measure supposedly to stop scalpers by embedding some sort of thing inside the badge which can be scanned at a checkpoint. I am fine with this because it seems reasonable, but even when you left the building they still had to scan you. When the convention closed for the day and everyone was going home you still saw security checking your badge as you left. This is equivalent to checking your ticket at the movie theater after the movie has already ended and you just want to leave. I see no point in doing this, and felt like running past security just to see what they would do. Imagining some scenario in which I would be swarmed or even arrested did not seem very far fetched. The kicker to all this is that I stayed so long on Saturday that security had simply left the convention while there were still plenty of people inside the convention center. On Sunday they didn't even bother to scan your badge as you left. At the end of one day I saw security outside the center grabbing anyone that came close to the checkpoint and ushered them past it but those that stayed near the convention were left unmolested. That had me scratching my head for a while.

Another thing I noticed at comic con was that they were checking all bags this year, and even stopped one girl from entering with her fake nun chucks. Last year they blocked off all exits except one. Are they going to be patting everyone down next year or some year after that? Will I have to remove my shoes? Will they be checking women's bras for deadly weapons? Who precisely will be attending comic con if this happens? It is all security theater. Anyone that wants to bring a real weapon into the convention can easily do so. There are no metal detectors or bomb sniffing dogs, and there are no pat downs....not yet anyway. This type of nonsense has to stop before it gets started.
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Unread 10-15-2013, 06:36 PM   #2
Ron Jr
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Security was definitely hit & miss this year. I went in costume three of the four days and only on Saturday was my bags checked. Though to be honest the two days I wasn't checked both security guards recognized me as a 501st member and just asked what costume was in the bags.

The RIFD check out is for the fire marshals last year they had oversold and surpassed the limit of the building. With the RIFD check they know pretty close how many people are still in the building.
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Unread 10-15-2013, 07:21 PM   #3
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I had enough luggage that I think they gave up on the prospect of checking my bags friday-sunday, but on Thursday they checked EVERYBODY. It was kind of outlandish. Lines were barely moving even though they weren't very long..

Also, I did see quite a few police dogs. Not sure if they were bomb sniffing or drug sniffing or what, but there was a K9 presence. It's all a bit outlandish, it's all security theater, but it's NYC so it's what people expect.
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Unread 10-15-2013, 08:34 PM   #4
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I was extremely pissed at security this year myself. I had no trouble Friday or Sunday, but Saturday they would not allow me to bring my keyblade in, which dragged my costume down a notch. Not to mention I saw A LOT and I mean A LOT of people with keyblades inside the con. Even my friend brang a heavy metal keyblade on Frday.
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Unread 10-15-2013, 11:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djlemma View Post
I had enough luggage that I think they gave up on the prospect of checking my bags friday-sunday, but on Thursday they checked EVERYBODY. It was kind of outlandish. Lines were barely moving even though they weren't very long..

Also, I did see quite a few police dogs. Not sure if they were bomb sniffing or drug sniffing or what, but there was a K9 presence. It's all a bit outlandish, it's all security theater, but it's NYC so it's what people expect.
Was there really dogs? For god's sake, stop the insanity!
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Unread 10-16-2013, 07:02 AM   #6
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I don't know what your beef is with security. Bigger cons needs more security. In fact, I never felt safer at such a big event than at NYCC this year before. Plus, why wouldn't you want police and dogs around? I'm pleased with NYCC in stepping up in security. If you don't like it, don't go next year. Simple as that.
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Unread 10-16-2013, 09:34 AM   #7
yacchan
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I'm okay with NYCC stepping up security. In previous years it's felt like I didn't really even have to buy a badge, just follow a few bigger costumed people in and keep walking. This year, it seemed like they were genuinely trying to keep a handle on crowd control and fire codes and I'm totally cool with that.

What I didn't approve of was the lack of consistent standards for weapons checks. I've read and re-read the prop weapons policy, and I live in NYC and am fully aware that the city itself has some unusual codes regarding toy or replica weapons. That said, Thursday I wasn't checked at all. My replica needle gun made it passed security with no little wristband check or anything, I quite literally opened my bag and was waved through. Friday, my girlfriend got her (real hunting) Speedy bow through with a real draw, several (homemade and obviously costume) arrows that could be nocked, and several arrows that had "trick" tips (a boxing glove arrow, a "gas arrow", that kind of thing). The security staff didn't object to the nockable arrows, but rather the "gas arrow" that was actually just a pingpong ball glued to a wooden dowel. Apparently it was dangerous because you could twack somebody with it. It's also worth noting that this is the same bow and arrow set that I've worn with my Hawkeye for the last two years and I don't think I've ever been check by security at NYCC before this year.

Anyway, Saturday they said absolutely nothing about the bow or the arrows. Sunday, they gave me absolute hell for my needle gun (the same one that was waved through no problem on Thursday) because it had a "magazine". When I explained that it was a battery pack and even took the battery pack out, they let me through but kept giving me the stink eye.

Now, none of that is the mandatory NYPD presence. The uniformed officers I ran into through the weekend were actually really cool and jovial. They seemed to be enjoying people-watching, actually. This arbitrary application of weapons policy rests entirely on the con staff. And, I'll be real here, I seriously don't have a problem with there being a weapons policy! I just wish they would develop some actual standard.
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Unread 10-16-2013, 09:59 AM   #8
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I didn't have any problems at all. The tap in/tap out worked flawlessly for me. I brought a full size prop replica of a minigun (machine gun) and had no problems. Each day at the entrance they made sure it was fake, put a little wristband thing on the handle, and off I went.
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Unread 10-16-2013, 10:42 AM   #9
djlemma
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsukeru View Post
I don't know what your beef is with security. Bigger cons needs more security. In fact, I never felt safer at such a big event than at NYCC this year before. Plus, why wouldn't you want police and dogs around? I'm pleased with NYCC in stepping up in security. If you don't like it, don't go next year. Simple as that.
I feel like all the extra security at the door is just for show and isn't really effective at preventing much risk. If somebody wanted to cause mayhem, that door security wouldn't have prevented it. Mostly it just meant that people were unable to bring in their hair gel (Yes, they were confiscating hair products on Thursday, I saw it with my own eyes) and randomly certain people wouldn't be able to bring in their dull hunks of material because they looked too weapon-like.

I would have preferred the resources to go towards more security presence on the main show floor. Again this year there were stories of women getting harassed and not having very good luck with security.

All in all though, my complaints are small, as far as my thoughts about NYCC are concerned. I just don't like the fear-mongering and security theater that's become the norm in this country, and I also am not a huge fan of the constitution-free ubiquitous surveillance zone that NYC has become... but if I didn't want my picture taken by a bunch of cameras, NYCC would not be the place for me.
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Unread 10-16-2013, 02:14 PM   #10
KVN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yacchan View Post
I'm okay with NYCC stepping up security. In previous years it's felt like I didn't really even have to buy a badge, just follow a few bigger costumed people in and keep walking. This year, it seemed like they were genuinely trying to keep a handle on crowd control and fire codes and I'm totally cool with that.

What I didn't approve of was the lack of consistent standards for weapons checks. I've read and re-read the prop weapons policy, and I live in NYC and am fully aware that the city itself has some unusual codes regarding toy or replica weapons. That said, Thursday I wasn't checked at all. My replica needle gun made it passed security with no little wristband check or anything, I quite literally opened my bag and was waved through. Friday, my girlfriend got her (real hunting) Speedy bow through with a real draw, several (homemade and obviously costume) arrows that could be nocked, and several arrows that had "trick" tips (a boxing glove arrow, a "gas arrow", that kind of thing). The security staff didn't object to the nockable arrows, but rather the "gas arrow" that was actually just a pingpong ball glued to a wooden dowel. Apparently it was dangerous because you could twack somebody with it. It's also worth noting that this is the same bow and arrow set that I've worn with my Hawkeye for the last two years and I don't think I've ever been check by security at NYCC before this year.

Anyway, Saturday they said absolutely nothing about the bow or the arrows. Sunday, they gave me absolute hell for my needle gun (the same one that was waved through no problem on Thursday) because it had a "magazine". When I explained that it was a battery pack and even took the battery pack out, they let me through but kept giving me the stink eye.

Now, none of that is the mandatory NYPD presence. The uniformed officers I ran into through the weekend were actually really cool and jovial. They seemed to be enjoying people-watching, actually. This arbitrary application of weapons policy rests entirely on the con staff. And, I'll be real here, I seriously don't have a problem with there being a weapons policy! I just wish they would develop some actual standard.
Standards, as we well know, are meant to be broken. What we need is for fear mongering to stop and for common sense to prevail. What you experienced or witnessed will only get worse over time. This is typically the natural course.

Last edited by KVN : 10-17-2013 at 01:47 PM.
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Unread 10-16-2013, 10:06 PM   #11
Kaze Saffire
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I was there Thursday, Friday, and Sunday. Didn't see any dogs. Did see a whole horde of cops out front on one of the days ( either Thursday or Friday ) but that didn't really anger me. Made all the sense in the world to me actually being as this was going to be an EXTREMELY overcrowded event.
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Unread 10-16-2013, 10:54 PM   #12
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I had zero problems with staff/security or whatever. I think the only time my bag was check was on Saturday, and that took all of 10 seconds. Considering it was a ton easier to get around and the crowds were much better, I'm all for the new badges and what not.

And there were some dogs, some with the police, A LOT with people who had disabilities, which if you take issue with that, then yikes.
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Unread 10-17-2013, 12:49 PM   #13
eebee
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I only brought in a weapon one day, a child-size toy assault rifle from a Halloween shop. I had it right on the top of my big bag o' costume nonsense intending for them to see it and direct me toward the weapons check people or whatnot. Guy didn't even notice it. Never got checked or got one of those wristbands on it and then never got asked to show my wristband.
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