After Las Vegas shooting, tighter security expected in Devore for Cal Jam 2017 music festival
By Joe Nelson
The Las Vegas mass shooting Sunday underscores the security vulnerabilities of open-air attractions like the Glen Helen Amphitheater in Devore, where security will be tighter for this weekend’s Cal Jam 2017 rock music festival.
Brian Jenkins, an authority on terrorism and security at the Santa Monica-based RAND Corp., told the Southern California News Group on Monday that security vulnerabilities “are virtually infinite” in Southern California, given there are so many public places and open-air venues.
Glen Helen, for example, is nestled among rolling hills in a relatively secluded area and is in close proximity to two freeways. It is the largest outdoor amphitheater in the U.S., with a capacity of 65,000 people, and could be considered an ideal locale for a potential critical incident.
In Las Vegas, 59 people died and 527 were injured in a shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival outside the Mandalay Bay hotel.
Security will be ramped up at Glen Helen during this weekend’s two-day Cal Jam 2017 rock music festival, expected to draw 30,000, said Glen Helen Amphitheater General Manager John Piehuta. He said concertgoer safety is his top priority, and he works closely with local law enforcement officials to ensure sufficient security measures are in place.
Sheriff’s spokeswoman Jodi Miller said Tuesday a contingency plan was in place to address the issues of venue terrain and other vulnerabilities.
“We have resources that will ensure those areas are patrolled and secure,” Miller said.
As routine protocol, sheriff’s Lt. Sarkis Ohannessian said a sheriff’s helicopter does aerial perimeter patrols of the amphitheater when it hosts events. But in the wake of the Las Vegas shooting, the department will be even more vigilant and paying closer attention to vulnerable areas. Deputies will be assigned to the venue around the clock, in the park and on the amphitheater grounds, the lieutenant said.
“Our mission is […]