APD reviewing security plans after Las Vegas shooting

Interim Austin Chief of Police Brian Manley announces the return of some APD Ford Explorer units during a press conference on Sept. 7, 2017. (KXAN Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — In the hours following the deadliest mass shooting in America, Austin Police Chief Brian Manley told KXAN the event is prompting his department to review security plans heading into the Austin City Limits music festival this weekend.

Chief Manley said Monday that there are no known threats on social media or elsewhere for the ACL festival.

The chief was interviewed on KXAN News Today where anchor Sally Hernandez asked if the Las Vegas shooting would change APD’s plans for ACL.

“It’s not that it’s a threat that we are not aware of but whenever you have an incident occur you always have to be concerned about copycats –someone that looks at this as an opportunity,” Manely said. “So we will go back and review all of the security plans that we have in place. We are fortunate that ACL is an event that year after year we’ve been able to manage successfully and safely and I feel confident we have plans in place to address that this year as well. However, you can’t look at a tragedy like this and not go back and reevaluate your plans.”

Manley says ACL Fest will probably be one of the safest places in Austin. “There will be a large number of officers in a very concentrated area at this festival. Actually, from that perspective, it’s going to be the safest part of the city to be in during both weekends just because of the sheer number of officers that will be present,” said Manley during a Monday afternoon briefing.

APD’s Counter Assault Strike team receives advanced training on how to respond to an active shooter incident, Manley explained.

“We want folks to come out,” Manley said of the festival. “We want to reassure folks that we are doing everything we can to make this event as safe as possible.”

Austin police will be receiving help from federal agencies while they staff ACL. DPS has also offered up their troopers to assist APD with the festival in light of what happened in Las Vegas.

Alan Trevino, a retired state trooper and sergeant on the governor’s security detail, explained that DPS volunteering to assist with festival security is significant.

“They need to be taking as much assistance as they can get to make sure the events are gonna be secure,” he said.

Trevino now owns a security company, he says events like this have changed the way we view security altogether

“The world has changed, this city has changed from the time when I started as a DPS trooper,” he said.

Trevino said that while the conversation after the Las Vegas shooting is centered around stopping gunmen, he said that the people securing the festival need to be equally prepared for other types of attacks. He explained that in the days to come, the safety team at ACL will be doing advanced work to beef up security at potential weak spots.

APD said that their officers have already gone out and surveyed the areas that have visibility of Zilker from above, though Chief Manley noted “there is not as much [visibility] as you might think.”

ACL’s organizer C3 issued a statement stating safety is their “top priority.” C3 says over the past several years, tighter security measures have been implemented at ACL Fest such as pat downs, bag searches as well as “enhanced security and law enforcement presence inside and outside the festival.”

The first weekend of ACL kicks off Friday. APD added that in light of the Las Vegas shooting, they may also look into whether any security enhancements need to be made at Formula 1 later this month.

The U.S. Homeland Security Department said Monday morning that there is no “specific credible threat” involving other public venues in the U.S. after the Las Vegas shooting.


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