Expect increased security at events, Raleigh-based expert says

LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 02: An injured person is tended to in the intersection of Tropicana Ave. and Las Vegas Boulevard after a mass shooting at a country music festival nearby on October 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. A gunman has opened fire on a music festival in Las Vegas, killing over 20 people. Police have confirmed that one suspect has been shot dead. The investigation is ongoing. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The Las Vegas shooting has many thinking about their safety at concerts, sporting events and other venues.

James DeMeo has nearly 30 years’ experience in the events security industry and the Raleigh-based consultant works with venues to implement best practices to prevent these types of attacks.

“This is something we’re very concerned about and something we’re working diligently to improve upon,” said DeMeo. “Moving forward, those of us entrusted with duty, care and responsibilities for safeguarding stadiums, venues and arenas, have to rethink how we rethink how we protect this types of events.”

DeMeo says he expects to see increased security measures to be implemented at local venues, that’s on top of the changes we’ve seen in the past year due to other attacks around the world.

At PNC Arena, for example, officials hired a firm to provide bomb-sniffing dogs following the attack in England at the Ariana Grande concert over the summer.

More and more arenas are also participating in active shooter trainings and evacuation drills.

DeMeo says fans and patrons of these events have a role to play as well.

“We want fans to have a great time,” said DeMeo. “We certainly don’t want to create a police state. We want to create that balance between the fan experience and safety, but ultimately all of us sharing information on a daily basis, ‘see something, say something’ and let the authorities know places us in the best position possible to be safe and secure during these events.”

After every attack, DeMeo says there is a concern for a copy-cat attack.

That’s why he says it’s important for patrons and fans to always go into these events with a plan in place, which includes knowing where the exits are and pinpointing potential hiding places in the event of an active shooter.

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