Experts rethink security at large events following Vegas mass shooting

Experts rethink security at large events following Vegas mass shooting

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - From Mardi Gras to Jazz Fest, large events are part of life in the New Orleans area. But following recent terrorist attacks and this week's mass shooting in Las Vegas, experts must rethink how they protect the public.

Local security expert Anthony Christiana will tell you that securing large events is a whole different business today than it was a decade ago.

"We always have to be cognizant and we have to stay vigilant that no matter what it is we do, somebody somewhere is going to try something new and innovative to test that security," said Christiana.

Christiana is Deputy Chief at the Gretna Police Department, but he also owns his own company that organizes security for events across the world. He says these days, you have to take a different approach to protecting the public.

"We've had to take a look at security from a different standpoint through the eyes of the enemy basically and design our security as such," said Christiana.

And, once again this week, there is proof that we are living in dangerous times.

Investigators say Stephen Paddock killed 59 people and injured more than 500 in Las Vegas Sunday night, when he gunned down concert-goers by firing from the windows of his hotel room.

Christiana says before, you just had to worry about securing the event itself. Now, those in the security business have to take a hard look at all the areas that surround it.

"So, the adversary, the terrorist or lone wolf or whomever they may be is looking for that easy, one quick access point or one quick hit to make the splash, and they're finding it in some of the perimeter areas of events now, and it's very important now in designing events to look further than just the event itself going out several layers," said Christiana.

In our area, that's especially important when you consider how many large events happen here.

"When you talk about Gretna Fest, we've been involved with it now for 23 years, and this year was a whole different security approach. We've added layers of security based on just what I was mentioning, Manchester, other attacks in London," said Christiana.

Christiana adds that tactical equipment for officers responding to calls is also important. He says everything from armored vehicles to ballistic helmets and plated bulletproof vests are needed.

"These are the things we need to do our job on active situations," said Christiana.

Copyright 2017 WVUE. All rights reserved.