Baltimore police and security experts react to Las Vegas shooting
BALTIMORE (WBFF) - Baltimore City police and local public safety experts are closely following the latest developments in the mass shooting in Las Vegas Sunday night, which left 59 dead and more than 500 injured.
Melissa Hyatt, chief of the police department's Special Operations Division, said: "When we have an event that was terribly unfortunate, which was the tragedy in Las Vegas, it's another time for us to make something positive come out of that, to reevaluate some of our plans, talk to some of our peers in law enforcement and evaluate vulnerabilities we ourselves need to address to make our events even more secure."
Hyatt says citizens should not be deterred from attending Baltimore's many outdoor events, including Artscape and the Baltimore Running Festival, which takes place Oct. 21.
"Those are wonderful, free events for people to come visit the city, and we want to make sure they are as safe and secure as possible," said Hyatt.
Hyatt says the public also needs to do its part to protect themselves and others.
"If you see something - whether it's a person, an item, anything that makes the hair on your back of your neck stand up because it doesn't feel right - don't keep that to yourself," said Hyatt.
Rob Weinhold, a public safety expert and chief executive with the Baltimore-based Fallston Group, says police agencies must reexamine their security protocols in light of the mass shooting in Las Vegas.
"They have to say, 'Do we have to take the measures and put them in place of a counter-sniper or some other event-oriented safety and security protocols to make sure that all those who attend are safe?'" said Weinhold.
He added: "We, as a community, have to be more responsive, more aware and make sure we're doing everything possible to stop the threat as it is occurring and making sure that the venues that are housing these events, whether they're open fields or large buildings, are as safe and secure as they may be."
Weinhold said: "It's a matter of saving your life and the life of others."