K-9 Force and Mobile Surveillance: How Cannes Has Upgraded Security Again

Elite K-9 force Cannes- Publicity-H 2018
Mairie de Cannes

The city recently added a hefty $2.4 million to its anti-terror budget, much of it earmarked to protect public spaces: "We are in the ocean, in the sky and on the ground. It's never too much."

If you’re renting an apartment near the Palais this year, expect the French police to want to know who you are. Local rental agents have been asked to give names of those within close proximity, presumably for background checks. The new rule applies to drivers, too. “Everyone is required to give their ID and the police verify their criminal record. It’s very intense,” says Yves Darros, director of the municipal police.

It’s just one of the latest security initiatives by the city, which recently doubled its annual anti-terror budget by adding a hefty $2.4 million, much of it earmarked to protect public spaces. Following the Bastille Day van attack in Nice in 2016, Cannes is careful to control who can come into town. Delivery vans no longer will be able to access the city during the festival without approval.

“We need to know who the driver is, where he is going, what he is going to deliver,” says Darros. Retractable steel barriers also have been installed to prevent van attacks along the Croisette’s cross streets. At a cost of roughly $90,000 each, the barriers are resistant to hits from a 7.5-ton van at 50 miles per hour.

Among the other new measures is a municipal K-9 force that now boasts nine dogs and 12 officers and is set to grow later this year. The new dogs are trained to sniff out explosives and will mingle through crowds outside the Palais.

New, too, is a mobile unit that is tapped into the city’s extensive 580 CCTV system — that’s one camera for every 130 citizens — so they can be monitored on the move.

While Darros wouldn’t disclose specifics due to security concerns, eyes are on high, too. “We are in the ocean, in the sky and on the ground,” he says. Asked whether that’s a bit too much Big Brother for a small city, Darros is blunt: “It’s never too much.”

This story first appeared in the May 2 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.