Terrorists, hackers and scammers: Many enemies as L.A. plans Olympics security

As Los Angeles vies for the 2028 Summer Games, one thing is certain: its security plan will be vastly different from the last time it hosted back in 1984.

Back then, the city relied on clearly evident physical security. Helicopters with LAPD officers patrolled the skies, while boots on the ground and bomb-sniffing dogs protected spectators and the Olympic Village. As for technology, well, there wasn’t much.

But the world is a different place, and this time around, the focus is less on a show of force than on good intelligence and good disruption. The most ubiquitous player in 2028 will likely be high tech, with a strong reliance on drones, cybersecurity and facial recognition technology.

How do you plan for an event 11 years out when you’re not sure what the threat landscape will look like? That’s what the city is now grappling with. One thing is certain: it will be expensive. The 2024 estimate for L.A.’s Olympics bid was $2 billion.

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