N.O. emergency planners review special event plans following Las Vegas shooting spree

N.O. emergency planners review special event plans following Las Vegas shooting spree

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - In the wake of the Las Vegas shooting massacre, the City of New Orleans is reviewing security plans for upcoming major events.

Super Bowls, music festivals, you name it, the city is rarely without a major event.

"The events in Las Vegas make us know how important this is, how fast these things can happen, so we're always working to prevent them," said New Orleans Police Supt. Michael Harrison.

"Anytime an incident like this happens we take note," said Aaron Miller, Director of the city's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.

Voodoo Fest happens soon and attracts thousands.

"Looking at all of our events going forward, I say we have a heightened sense of awareness. We have a sense of how to prevent and how to respond should the need arise for us to respond," said Supt. Harrison.

"The Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness, as well as New Orleans Police Department, have been in contact with many of our special event planners and some of the individuals involved in the special event season that's continuing throughout the year. We're reviewing their plans. We're reviewing vulnerabilities," said Miller.

Supt. Harrison said his department trains to respond to threats on the ground and from above and works with the hotel industry in preparation for major events in the city.

"The members of the New Orleans Police Department are equipped, are trained and prepared to handle mass casualty incidents of any type. We recently purchased 300 additional patrol rifles, state-of-the-art patrol rifles to be able to handle an active shooter scenario, or a mass casualty event. That was on top of the 100 hundred that we already owned and had deployed," continued Harrison.

Since the Las Vegas massacre, metal detectors are in use at some Las Vegas hotels and casinos.

Could that be a consideration in New Orleans?

"I don't know that we've had that specific conversation about them checking bags and metal detectors on their private property but they have been a part of our large planning so that when we plan for large events in the city we know hotel occupancy is going to be full, certainly those GMs at those large hotels have been a part of our planning," said Harrison.

Even before the mass shooting in Las Vegas, the city of New Orleans was planning an active shooter drill for next Monday.

"We take note and we learn from the incidents to be better and create a safer community in New Orleans," said Miller.

And if there were a mass shooting in New Orleans or another type of attack, the city says the most critical victims would be brought to University Medical Center New Orleans and other hospitals in the area would be called on to help other victims.

"The entire region would be involved if we had to deal with an incident with hundreds of casualties," said Dr. Jeffrey Elder, Director of New Orleans Emergency Medical Services.

Even as city government works to prevent such an attack.

"It is difficult to prevent it but that's why we have people in the Joint Terrorism Task Force that are in constant communication with us. We're in constant contact with the State Fusion Center," said Supt. Harrison.

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