Bag checks and bomb-sniffing dogs could turn CES into a hellish snarl of lines, lines, lines

Police in tactical gear will be part of CTA's security plan.


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CES, the biggest trade show on earth, is about to become the biggest hassle, too. On Thursday the Consumer Technology Association said it has implemented unprecedented security measures in light of recent “global tragedies.”

That means police in tactical gear will roam the hallways with bomb-sniffing dogs and mix in with the drones, gadgets, selfie-sticks, and giant televisions on display from Jan. 6-9 in Las Vegas.

The biggest headaches, though, will likely be mandatory bag checks and security screenings, and limits on what attendees can bring in.

The CTA said it has banned rolling bags of any type on the show floor, including small laptop bags that roll. Attendees will be allowed only two bags, each smaller than 12-by-17-by-6 inches. Bags will be hand-checked. All attendees will have to pass through a metal detector screening and submit to body pat-downs.

The CTA said the ramped-up security is not addressing a specific threat. It just wants everyone to be safe.

“While we know of no credible threat against CES, we remain vigilant. We are communicating with the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI and local law enforcement officials as we enhance security measures onsite at CES 2016,” said CTA president Gary Shapiro. “We want a safe CES. The safety of our guests is a top priority.”

CES logistics were already tough before any security measures were contemplated. Nearly 200,000 people attend every year. It’s known as the show where you wait an hour just to hop a cab back to the hotel.

Normally attendees walk in and out of the show floor by showing their badge. If they must go through a security screening at every venue, it’s likely to test everyone’s patience. 

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