Attack prompts security reviews in Austin

- Work crews, Monday morning, were busy setting up Zilker Park for the upcoming ACL music festival.

Bands take stage October 6th. Monday, interim Police Chief Brian Manley was also hard at work, meeting with APD Commanders reassessing the security plan for the event.

"We are going to be adequately staffed this weekend to handle both the crowds as well as address new threats that we have now seen unveil themselves in Las Vegas."

In an effort to ramp up security, Manley says the department requested and will receive help from DPS and federal agencies. Organizers of the event appear confident the security plan will keep people safe according to a statement from C3 Presents, producers of Austin City Limits Music Festival.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with our colleagues and everyone in Las Vegas who was affected by this terrible tragedy. Safety has always been our top priority.  Our staff and security team works year-round with the Austin Police Department, Austin Fire Department, Austin-Travis County EMS, and other authorities to plan and rehearse security and response plans. 

Over the years, tighter security measures have been implemented at ACL Fest including a layered security plan that includes elements that are seen and unseen, as well as pat downs, bag searches and size limits, and an enhanced security and law enforcement presence inside and outside the festival. We look forward to Austin City Limits Music Festival over the next two weekends.”

The expected extra focus on security, during the two weekend event, comes as no surprise for ticket holders like Melanie McLeroy.

"It makes me a little worried," said McLeroy.

McLeroy has attended every ACL festival since it started and refuses to let what happened in Vegas scare her away.

"People like that are trying to make us afraid, and if we respond in fear, we are just feeding them."

The Las Vegas shooter, reportedly, had checked into to his room on the 32nd floor at the Mandalay Bay Resort 3 days before the attack. He used that time to build shooting platforms, unpack ammunition and set up cameras.

Hotels typically wait up to 3 days before entering a room after a do not be disturb request is made, according to Scott Joslove with the Texas Hotel and Lodging Association. Monday he sent an e-mail to members suggesting a policy review.

"The brands I've been talking to all morning long have already met with their staff and their security experts about trying to determine what is the best protocol moving forward,” said Joslove.

Moving forward may not involve adopting airport baggage screening techniques. Joslove says the open access of hotels makes it impractical.

ACL is not the only big event scheduled for this weekend.

That’s why on the other side of downtown another security review is being done.

Saturday DKR stadium will be filled as the longhorns play Kansas State.

"UTPD and the University are reviewing security procedures in light of what's happening in the world,” said UTPD Asst. Chief Don Verett in a statement given to FOX7.

He declined to provide details -  but security adjustments were made in 2015 after the attacks in Paris. UTPD Chief David carter spoke to FOX7 at that time, confirming the campus police force was on Tactical Alert Status.

"What Paris does do for police departments is it reminds them to look and review their plans and procedures. It reminds them to rehearse to train, to study the tactics to see if they've evolved see what the main issues might be,” said Chief Carter in a 2015 interview.

The review of the Las Vegas attack may force authorities to extend security parameters well beyond special events. Paying for that, according to security experts, may require an additional surcharge that ticket holders in the future could have to pay.

 

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