New focus on New Year’s Eve Strip security following 1 October
LAS VEGAS (KSNV) —
Las Vegas is beefing up security forces for New Year’s Eve in the wake of October’s mass shooting outside Mandalay Bay.
In 12 days when the clock strikes midnight, it will mark three months since bullets sprayed down onto concertgoers at the Route 91 Harvest Festival.
Tens of thousands will be on Las Vegas Boulevard and safety will be top of mind.
Adam Coughran travels all over the country and stopped here in Nevada for a Tourism Safety Conference, to talk about active shooter training.
“There's a new threat, and what changed was he shot from an elevated position and we had never seen that before,” said Coughran. “It changed the game, so to speak, when it came to not only what are we looking for in hotels, but how do react when we find ourselves in a violent situation?”
This year’s New Year's Eve celebration on the Las Vegas Strip will bring a record number of Nevada National Guard soldiers.
There will also be more buses and patrol cars used as roadblocks.
At Hooters Hotel and Casino, Gil Chavez is the director of security. He says there will also be changes you won’t see.
“You'll see a higher security presence from us, more of an armed security presence. I think it's the security that you won't see that's most important. The plainclothes that are doing spotting and watching,” said Chavez.
Coughran says protecting yourself in a situation we all hope won’t happen begins with a good sense of what’s going on around you.
“We talk about when you're at an event, become a hero. Hide, escape, run, and overcome. Keeping those simple things in mind, like knowing where the exits are in a confined area, when you pass police officers or first aid stations, or security, remember them,” said Coughran. “We talk about when you come into a venue, look at where the exits are, have a way out, other than the way you came in."
Coughran says to look for off behavior. If it’s odd to you, it’s probably odd to everyone else.
“When you see things out of the ordinary, tell somebody about those things,” he noted.
Coughran expects to see more security changes on the Las Vegas Strip in the future.
“People walking through the hotels, higher scrutiny at the check-in process, people who are asking for higher floors, and more vetting,” he explained.