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Concert Security Experts Grapple With Lessons Of Las Vegas


By Ryan Berlin Emergency Preparedness

The Las Vegas shooting is a chilling reminder that big public concerts remain a soft target. And the industry is still grappling with what lessons it should draw from the massacre. But the attack also underscores that there's only so much the concert industry can do to protect large gatherings.

"It's impossible to secure them to the point when you can prevent any kind of violent attack, and still be accessible to the public," says John Cohen, a former counterterrorism coordinator at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. "You could build higher fences, screen people more extensively as they come in. You could've put more police inside and around the venue," Cohen said. "And none of that would have stopped this attack."

At least one security expert thinks there's another lesson the concert industry should take from the Las Vegas shooting.

"The situation was made worse by the failure to attempt to evacuate people, and possibly save a life or two, or prevent injuries," said Paul Wertheimer, co-founder of Crowd Management Strategies, a firm that advises concert venues.

Wertheimer has studied YouTube videos that members of the audience recorded in the moments during and after the shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, and he was alarmed by what he saw.

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This Quick Read was submitted by Ryan Berlin, managing editor of Facility Maintenance Decisions, ryan.berlin@tradepressmedia.com. Find out more about shooting security response plans and how to prepare for worst case gunman scenarios.

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