Williamson Co. Sheriff to add snipers and sand trucks to event security after Vegas

- The Williamson County Sheriff's Office is calling what happened in Las Vegas a "game changer." They are taking a hard look at how they plan for security for large scale events.

Photos of the Las Vegas strip hang on the walls of Commander Steve Deaton’s office in Williamson County.

Deaton lived and worked there for several years. He still has a security badge from one of the casinos as a keepsake.

Over the weekend, he and his wife went for a visit. He returned on Sunday hours before the mass shooting. Monday he woke to a worried call from the sheriff.

"I was oblivious to what had taken place. I turned on the news and like the rest of this country stared in shock and horror as the numbers grew,” said Deaton.

He did not attend the festival, but saw plenty of people who were there for it.

"You know, in their western attire with their wristbands. I was staying further down the strip, but who knows I may have brushed shoulders and not known it was one of the victims,” he said.

It just so happens that Deaton has been tasked with putting together a security plan for a large-scale country concert featuring Dierks Bentley. It's set to take place in a neighborhood in Northwest Austin in two weeks.

With Vegas on his mind, he said he'll be bringing in dump trucks full of sand to block streets like you would typically see on a presidential visit in Downtown Austin and he will have snipers perched from above.

"There will be enough uniformed deputies that the crowd will see and feel safe. There will be enough deputies that they don't see that are in plain clothes that will be in other places that will make them safe,” said Deaton.

Deaton will also be bringing in a medical response team.

He said these plans feel more like a mission for the military, but now it's reality for law enforcement.

"It's a shame it's come to this, but this is the world we live in. And our community deserves to be as safe as possible,” he said.

 

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