The question of public safety at large events is once again making headlines after the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history. At least 58 people were killed and more than 500 injured after a gunman opened fire on a music festival crowd Sunday night in Las Vegas, Nevada. This shooting, on the final night of the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival, is the latest reminder to be on high alert when attending large events.
Entertainment venues are a safety focus at Cal OES through our Large Stadium Initiative (LSI). With 39-million residents and the 5th largest economy in the World, California is a big target, with large arenas, stadiums and venues up and down the state.
“We’re a desirable target,” according to Chief Mark Pazin, Cal OES Law Enforcement and Homeland Security Division.
“That level of violence has been risen which again nesessitates that we rise to that level of vigilance and preparedness,” said Pazin.
At the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, a team of law enforcement and public safety officials monitor everything from dozens of security cameras to social media.
“It’s really about collaboration and making sure everybody’s on the same page about what is going on at the arena at any specific time,” said Sergeant Bryce Heinlein of the Sacramento Police Department.
“We’re constantly monitoring social media feeds to see what the topics are or to see what’s trending. It’s an information gathering spot for us to be able to get information and disseminate.”
Heinlein said the Golden 1 Center, which was named the Sports Business Journal’s Facility of the Year in 2017, has highly visible, uniformed officers in strategic points throughout the arena.
“We encourage the public to come to us and engage us in conversation. We rely on our visitors and our community to bring things to our attention and to work together to make it a safe environment,” Heinlein explained. He also said everything in the Golden 1 Center is monitored, from the sidewalks and traffic outside to the seats and foot traffic inside.
Remember, if you attend any large gathering, from a concert to a festival to a high school football game, if you see something, say something.