Hollywood sign could get added security after New Year's prank

The Hollywood sign could become the subject of added security in the aftermath of a New Year's Day prank that made it read 'Hollyweed,' says the agency that maintains it.

``The surveillance system is like a chain,'' Chris Baumgart, chairman of the Hollywood Sign Trust, told the Los Angeles Times. ``The chain is only as good as its weakest link, so as we study this -- the prankster coming in, how
he (or) she slipped through -- we will determine this week where the link was that was weak, then we will upgrade there."

Baumgart said he plans to meet with the Los Angeles Police Department this week to be briefed on the matter and to explore ways to prevent similar acts.

City surveillance cameras locked on the iconic sign captured a man dressed in black as he scaled down the sign and carefully placed tarps on the structure to make it read ``Hollyweed'' around 3 a.m. Jan. 1, said Sgt. Guy Juneau of the LAPD's Security Services Division.

The tarp was taken down about 11:15 a.m. and the sign restored to``Hollywood." The incident was being investigated as misdemeanor trespassing.

Baumgart noted there are dangers when it comes to making a statement on the sign.

``Because the sign is 45 feet high, it's extremely easy to slip and fall,'' he told The Times. ``It could've been a tragedy for that prankster. And that hillside is extremely treacherous. So you're protecting the homeowners, you're protecting the pranksters from themselves by keeping them out of there. The sign is just metal and concrete. The lives are more important.''