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The Girl Next Door

Katie Holmes twice received police help moving about during Sundance

Police official says actress did not get preferential treatment while in Park City

Park Record
by Jay Hamburger

The Park City Police Department twice sent officers to assist actress Katie Holmes as the Hollywood star moved about during the Sundance Film Festival, treatment that a high-ranking police official said was not based on her celebrity status.

The police helped the actress on consecutive days, Jan. 25 and Jan. 26, Rick Ryan, a police captain, said.

On the first day, Ryan said, the Police Department received a call at dinnertime from a member of Holmes' staff saying the actress was having difficulty traveling from a Main Street building to her car.

Ryan said the police sent at least two officers to help her. The officers ordered a crowd back so Holmes could reach the car unimpeded, the captain said. She stayed inside the building until the police arrived.

At just after 5 p.m. on Jan. 26, meanwhile, the person driving Holmes while she was in Park City stopped at the police station requesting assistance in dropping her off at Park City Mountain Resort. The driver of the Cadillac Escalade asked for a police escort, Ryan said.

Ryan said the Police Department agreed to send an officer to PCMR with Holmes. The officer followed the vehicle Holmes was riding in. The officer did not turn on the police sport utility vehicle's emergency lights or sirens, Ryan said. They did not encounter problems on the way PCMR.

"I don't think we extended more resources for her than anyone else who needed assistance," Ryan said.

He said the Police Department occasionally provides similar assistance to people who are concerned about their safety. He said, as an example, an officer might be called to escort someone to a vehicle if they are worried about walking by themselves.

Ryan said the police over the years have helped other celebrities in similar situations as Holmes found herself in during Sundance.

The assistance provided to Holmes came during what is typically one of the busiest stretches of the year for the Police Department, with officers handling big crowds on Main Street and elsewhere, heavy traffic and numerous oddball calls related to the festival hoopla. The paparazzi were seen staked out outside Sundance hotspots looking for celebrities, particularly during the first part of the festival.

The police staff up for the festival, and Police Chief Wade Carpenter prior to Sundance said the force increases by approximately 20 percent through extra shifts by the department's own officers and contracted help from the Summit County Sheriff's Office.

Holmes was among the top tier of the celebrities who were in Park City during Sundance. She accomplished the rare feat of appearing in two Sundance films during the same year, starring in "The Romantics" and "The Extra Man."

A Holmes representative did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment.

Sheriff Dave Edmunds said he was unaware of any Sheriff's Office deputies providing similar protection to celebrities during work hours. The sheriff said, though, three off-duty deputies moonlighted as security guards for actor Brad Pitt. Edmunds said they escorted Pitt from a Park City-area house to a Sundance venue.