Manchester attack leads to security changes at Raleigh’s PNC Arena

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The attack at the concert in Manchester is leading to some security changes here in Raleigh.

Popular band The Chainsmokers will be at PNC Arena Wednesday night and the thousands who will be in attendance will notice something different at the arena.

There will be explosive-sniffing dogs at the arena.

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“We are going to make this as safe and friendly an environment as we possibly can,” said Don Waddell, President of PNC Arena and the Carolina Hurricanes.

Waddell said, in addition to existing security measures like metal detectors, the venue has been in talks with several companies about having explosive-sniffing dogs at events. The plan was to negotiate a deal with a company and have them start in the fall. The Manchester incident is speeding up that process and dogs will be there for the concert.

“If you see something, say something,” said Waddell. “This is what we’re here for. We’ll have, between security and police officers, over 100 people on site for every event.”
Among the crowd at The Chainsmokers concert will be Yelissa Fisher.

“I feel like you can’t just like stay home because stuff like this might happen,” said Fisher. “You still have to go out and live your life.”

She is relieved knowing there will be more security in place.

“Whatever it takes to be safe,” she said. “If that’s what they have to do to ensure people’s safety, then I’m down.”

The arena will continue its negotiations to have a company bring the dogs in long-term.

We also talked with Geoff Beckwith, the Chief Operating Officer of Stealth Vigilance. The company does canine searches for explosives, guns or drugs. His company won’t be at PNC Arena Wednesday night, but he said Stealth Vigilance is one of the companies negotiating for the longer term deal with the arena.

Beckwith said what happened in Manchester brings the work they do even more into focus.

“If anything, it may remind people how vulnerable we can be,” Beckwith said. “It’s really our intent, as canine handlers and investigators, to ensure public safety.”

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