Issues with Comic Con Security?

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#1 AuroraKaganshik on 9 years ago

Ok so this year there were a few problems with the security team at Comic con, And I know it was not just my group who was harassed by them, since I did speak to other cosplayers as well.

I plan to Email Comic con about the situation because the way their "rent a cop" team was acting towards people honestly is not the best way to go about things, I do need some cosplayers who are willing to email me on here a testimony about what happened between them and the security, and hopefully get things fixed up for next year. I did speak to two staff members about it, however I'd rather speak with the main chair about it as well just incase the information never gets to them.
If you were part of the whole "firehazard cosplayers" please do not waste your time and mail me, alot of people are upset with the way you handled it.

I will also be asking them if they can set up a designated area, even if its outside under a tent on the mezzanine, for us to go since they pretty much took away every spot we could have gatherings, and relaxation time

#2 El_Duque on 9 years ago

This was brought up at the feedback panel on Sunday to the President of Comic Con. I wasn't the one who brought it up but someone in front of me did.

I also kept hearing stories of rent-a-cops who think they are actual police too, so I hope that will be addressed.

#3 Poody on 9 years ago

UGH YES!!!!!!!!!!! We had the same problem ALL weekend!!!! Not to mention they were RUDE about it! They also need to to tell the people taking pictures to keep moving, not the cosplayers. I only had 2 security members who were very nice and just said "you can only stop here for a few minutes ok?" Most of them were making us move when we were causing no harm to the flow of traffic. I'd be happy to e-mail them also. Can you save me the trouble and give me the e-mail address?

#4 xShadow-Lightx on 9 years ago

I completely agree. I was planning to start a thread about this but you beat me to the punch. A group of my friends were sitting out against the wall of ballroom 20 when those rent-a-cops came up to us and told us to move to another spot. We were then told to move back to where we were previously before we got sick and tired of this.

An argument came up between myself and a friend of mine with one of those rent-a-cops saying that we can't sit. We told them that we aren't doing anything and the Fire Marshals said we were allowed to sit there the previous day. The lady said we were being a fire hazard and told us we can't sit. In the end we stood in one place to talk since sitting was not allowed. They came patrolling back and telling us that we can not stand either.

I got quite irritated with them and told them to get me the fire marshal so we can talk to them personally. She said she wouldn't do it. So the more we argued, the more she got tired of it and got one for us. When talking to him, I personally asked about the place against the wall and he said it was ok to sit there. She on the other hand still gave us problems. So as a cosplayer, I noticed that people in regular clothing was not being harassed by the rent-a-cops.

Also, another incident happened to my friend and her mother. They were together by Entrance A when her mom had to step out for a brief moment. She then later tried to return to her UNDERAGED child when the security told her she has to walk all the way down to Entrance E then go up the stairs and walk back to A. She was denied the right to meet up with an underaged child, her own child. Thing was, she ended up listening to them and found out that the same security guy let someone walk in, even though it was a lock down, right after she got to Entrance A. Thing was, she was in a cosplay for her daughter and they gave her problems.

I would gladly help you e-mail Comic Con about such issues if you would need people to do so. It is not right that everything was pretty much taken away from us. And it wouldn't be fair if other people aside from cosplayers are allowed to be inside.

The event of Comic Con is for the public, without people like us who dress up, there wouldn't be many photographers and what not. Photographers and videographers would not take pictures of those common people, and with such rudeness in their attitudes towards cosplayers from staff/security, I highly doubt that there would be a lot of guests attending next year after this and the fact that they jacked up their prices..

#5 ketalia on 9 years ago

I had plenty of problems with the security, but one stood out more than the others. There are benches near the bathrooms outside the sails pavilion near the escalators to the mezzanine. There was a man sitting on one and I went to sit down next him to look at the schedule (my son was standing next to me). The security guard came over and told me I couldn't sit there (on a bench!). Didn't know what the guy not in costume must have done to be able to sit there, but I wasn't allowed to even for a minute. Later there were many people sitting on and an near the bench, some with computers plugged in, all not in costume. Also I guess if you buy a pretzel and move a few inches from the stand to discuss where you are heading to eat it, even though you are not blocking any traffic you have to move too. Had no problems with the Elite security it was the others.

#6 Eurobeat King on 9 years ago

This year I noticed different colored-shirt Convention Center security guards: Red Shirt, Yellow Shirt, Dull-Grey Shirt, and Light-Blue shirt.

Most of the weekend I didn't have any problems with security, but did witness a lot of incidents with them and other people.

One Light-Blue shirt security who looked like Steve Perry of the group Journey, was constantly yelling at people, telling them they needed to clear the area, or that they couldn't sit. He even had a green laser-pointer and was waving it on the ground, all the while yelling at people to move.

In all the years I've been to SDCC, never once have people been asked to (or in this case yelled at) move when they were sitting against the walls on the floor or by any of the columns. They weren't blocking anybody, and security was yelling at them to get up and keep that area clear. Even families with small children were harassed by security. :untrust:

Really unprofessional. Sadly, I'm reminded of Sac-Anime 2007 when on the last day when the con was about over, this one security guard was yelling at EVERYONE who was attending to clear the areas, or leave the hotel. People complained about him, but the damage was done and it left a bad taste to all those who witnessed this guy's power-trip. Same for the security for this year at SDCC. Maybe something will be done for next year, but this year's con is over.

#7 AuroraKaganshik on 9 years ago

I'd like to thank everyone whose come forward so far. I'd just like to make a quick note on this, for the future posters, I'd appreciate it if you could keep the posts looking as clean and professional as they have been looking, I will submit this forum with my email so that the staff may see the first hand accounts as well

#8 Wren on 9 years ago

Seems mainly due to the fact that SDCC has become so massive they've either have had to hire multiple security companies, or many temp ones just for this event. Which means less general consensus on how to handle things, poor training, lack of background or attitude checking before hiring security and general 'whos in charge?" mentality.

Sorry to hear its gotten this way. Never had issues myself, but I stopped attending 2 years ago

#9 El_Duque on 9 years ago

Also, anyone know the reason behind why magazine clips were barred? I had like 5 different CSC and Elite guys come up to me to ask if the magazine clip from my M-16 airsoft comes off. I just lied to them and said it's one piece and they left me alone.

Some of the security guys are also fans like us, I came across one guy who had Voltron shirt on after his shift was done and walked around the Exhibit Hall. I don't blame most of them, they were just doing their jobs.

My friend told me that some had to examine badges closely because they look at names closely if you're a guy or a girl. Yes, I see this happen that when guys have badges of girls names.

#10 ayaasan on 9 years ago

Just thought that I'd throw in my two cents--
I debuted my Boushh Leia costume on Friday for Star Wars day, and I needed to take a break to remove my bucket and get some water so that I wouldn't risk overheating/dehydration. I tried several spots around Ballroom 20, nowhere near a walkway ind you, and I got yelled at 3 different times before I started panicking and about passed out...and then I was promptly yelled at by a yellow-shirted security guard for fainting?! I had two photographers offer aid, and ironically a Han Solo. Yeah, I've been attending Comic Con for nine years now, and have never had anything like this happen. I have a good feeling I won't be back next year :(

#11 Vinosec on 9 years ago

#12 Access on 9 years ago

In my experience it comes and goes in cycles. A few years ago, there was a bad year, last year was fine, and this year, bad again. It's been like that for the last several years.

Most of the security staff was good and some were even helpful when I had to approach them for other reasons. But there were enough bad apples in the mix this year, especially the ones that seemed to be patrolling an area or roaming around. I remember on one occasion I had agreed to meet my group at a certain location and security was being quite uncooperative... I was told to not sit, then to not stand, then to not wait around, eventually I had to resort to walking around in a roughly 20 foot circle or rough loop simply to be at the designated meeting place when my group arrived. Other times my group would sit down in a place that had virtually no traffic, maybe 5-10 people passing through every minute, up against the wall as to not block any potential traffic, and we still got asked to get up and keep moving. And rather than direct us to where we could go to sit down, they just told us to keep moving, no suggestions, no help, just 'keep moving' and 'you can't sit here', 'you can't stand here', and that was it.

I don't know why it has to be so cyclic, the problem has been fixed before but the fix never holds for more than a year or two; it always ends up reverting or regressing back to this.

#13 victorianvulgar on 9 years ago

I was part of the Valve meetup on Friday, and we were VERY rudely broken up by a security guard, who came over, ranting and raving about how we were blocking the area. We very politely asked him where it would be okay to take some photographs, and he just shrugged and yelled "NOT HERE!".

I found the entire weekend that the security team had no idea where people were allowed to sit down, take photographs, catch their bus, etc. I had one woman tell me that I couldn't sit down ON A BENCH.

There are going to cosplayers at conventions, and they are going to want to take pictures and sit down. They really should facilitate this instead of making it next to impossible.

#14 Queenie on 9 years ago

My friend was harassed for the name on her badge. Just because she has a boy's name doesn't mean the security guard has to ask to see ID. I mean I understand you want to make sure people aren't using others badges but that was just downright rude that he wouldn't listen to the fact that that was her real name. It really upset me how condescending he was while talking to us, too.

#15 Kitsune-sama on 9 years ago

I noticed a strange bit of security behavior this con as well. Not just the whole issues with where to sit, but something else.

Plenty of times, myself and many other people would be held up and unable to pass as photographers and onlookers swarmed around a cosplayer and begun taking tons of pictures. Not only did this block up the hallway, it created a huge mess. But not [i]once[/i] did I see a security officer come and tell people to keep moving or to break it up.

I noticed there was a big issue with the spot in the middle wall of Ballroom 20. There were no doors, and there was an unused booth in the middle of it. Some of you may know which area I was speaking about. It was a little alcove, perfect because it was not in front of any doors, and it was away from the hallway itself. One could tuck away in that back corner if one wanted to. I watched over the course of the day that about five times, cosplayers were allowed then banned from that spot, for being a fire hazard. When asked why people sitting out of the way in an alcove were a fire hazard, the answer was, "The Fire Marshall said so."

Another issue I had a great deal with were lines. People would be packed into lines against the wall, even having them snake on top of each other, and yet those people were fine? Why was one person sitting out of the way a fire hazard, and an overpacked line not?

I had one experience where I had to sit down for a second to search through my bag for something, and was told to get up. When I explained what I was doing, I was told to go sit on the chairs in the Sails Pavilion. A few minutes after I sat in the chairs, I was asked if I had a portfolio to submit. I said I didn't, and was told to move out of the area.

I can understand doing your job, but they all needed to have been educated on the proper guidelines for the con. They all needed to be on the same page. And they were definitely not.