The October 1 Route 91 Harvest Festival shooter attack was a horrifying event in American history. Our hearts are with the victims, the loved ones of those who lost their lives, the hundreds of injured attendees, the first responders and the medical community impacted by the senseless acts in Las Vegas. As our nation grieves, the country must grapple with what this attack means for the safety and security of our local events and festivals.
The Seattle Special Events Committee, law enforcement, and local event organizers work in partnership to do our best to prepare for events like the Las Vegas attack. While the Las Vegas shooter’s tactics were unprecedented, we have seen this type of violence before, and we have always sought to learn and grow from these tragedies. We are taking steps to ensure that event attendees in our city can feel safe and free to enjoy the activities they love.
Through the Special Event Committee process, City, County, and State departments and agencies review every Seattle Special Event request. With a focus on safety and security, the City assists event organizers by providing uniformed Seattle Police Department officers, canine units or military bomb squads at events as needed. The Seattle Fire Department also has dedicated fire and EMS response resources at large events and ensures adequate medical response staffing.
While we can’t always prevent tragedies that put people in danger, what we can do is take all steps to be prepared in advance and to be able to respond to emergencies, whether they are caused by natural disasters or by the work of people who seek to cause harm. Event staff and attendees need to be proactive and prepared—any suspicious activity observed or perceived should be reported immediately to on-site authorities and 9-1-1.
We as a City will continue to do everything in our ability to protect public safety, and we will partner with event organizers, staff, and event attendees to keep one another safe. Seattle is home to unique venues, bands, performers, and artistic communities—we can’t let fear keep us from enjoying the music and events that are the heart of our city.