The massacre in Las Vegas is prompting authorities around the nation _ including in Sparks _ to reevaluate plans for making sure people attending large gatherings are safe.
The focus on new plans comes in the wake of the killings by a lone gunman at a country music concert on the Las Vegas Strip that left 58 people dead and several hundred injured.
“It’s impossible to predict or stop an individual who has the intent to do something like this. With our freedoms and the 2nd Amendment rights we can’t control people’s behavior,” says Sparks Police Officer Ken Gallop. “When we plan future events (in Northern Nevada) we are going to factor in this incident, looking at what we know and put resources to thwart those risks.’’
One of the most chilling aspects of the tragedy is that it’s been over a week and a clear motive still hasn’t been identified, nor did gunman Stephen Paddock show any signs of mental illness or instability. His girlfriend Marilou Danley said she knew him as a kind and caring man.
Many psychologists, experts and media outlets are still trying to wrap their heads around what happened and unfortunately there is no clear answer about what to do to prevent something like this.
“This is a factor in planning the safety and security for those attending future events. We are now settling into the aftermath that has affected people across the nation, many for a lifetime. We have our flags flying at half-mast. Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by this,” Gallop said.
In looking at the scene of the crime and how Paddock accessed the crowd through his 32nd floor Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino hotel room, questions are being raised about the safety and security of events near any Nevada casinos.
“We work very closely with the Sparks PD to provide as safe of an experience as possible for our guests,” says Nugget Casino Resort General Manager Mark Sterbens. “This is something that no one ever expected.”
Sterbens says that when a large event is hosted in Victorian Square, the Nugget’s security team looks at all of the hotel’s elevated areas and uses its resources to manage the safety of attendees. “This event has sparked a refocus so that something like this doesn’t ever happen in our area,” he adds.
Since the Nugget’s major events happen in the summer, its management team will be waiting for recommendations from law enforcement on how to improve the safety of Sparks guests as well as looking for details on how the Vegas incident could’ve been avoided.
“We want to know what precautions can be taken to prevent something like this from happening and will continue to work closely with the Sparks Fire Department and PD to ensure the utmost safety for our guests,” says Sterbens.
The City of Sparks also released this statement to the Sparks Tribune in light of the recent tragedy:
“We, like everyone else, have been devastated by the recent shooting in Las Vegas. Our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to all those affected. Here in the City of Sparks, the safety of the public and those that attend our special events is our absolute highest priority. We consistently meet to review and update our emergency management plans for our city events.
As the world changes, our emergency management plans change as well. We are taking what happened in Las Vegas very seriously and will continue to work directly with our special event partners to provide the best possible security during our events here in the City of Sparks.”