Connecticut concert venues respond to Manchester U.K. attack

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The Manchester UK attack Monday night shined a light on terror threats on ‘soft targets‘ like concert venues and sports arenas.

Criminal justice lecturer at the University of New Haven and retired Federal Bureau of Investigation special agent Kenneth Gray said, “Terrorism creates terror on the part of the victim and everybody who can see what is happening.”

Original Story: 19 dead, 50 injured after reports of explosion at Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena: Police

Gray worked for the FBI on everything from surveillance to counter-terrorism. He says that over the years suicide bombers have transitioned to soft targets, meaning a place where there’s little to no security. Gray added, “The suicide bomber because he was not able to get into the venue carried out the bombing at the next best place for it.”

Gray told News 8 that a terrorist will pick a soft target where they can impact large groups of people, “baseball games, football games, any type of gathering of people, concerts.”

Related Content: 23-year-old man arrested in connection with Manchester, England attack: Police

David Hartman with the New Haven Police Department said, “As you know, New Haven has a lot of public events, and quite a few of them are very large, over ten thousand spectators.”

Hartman said they’ve learned things from previous tragedies.

There are vulnerabilities to terrorism in this state and in every single community in this state, including New Haven, so we use surveillance cameras as best we can.”

Related Content: The Latest: 8-year-old girl among Manchester dead

Even though surveillance cameras can’t stop crimes, Hartman told News 8 they can help solve them. There are dozens of cameras throughout the city. Hartman said, “They are focused on streets. They switch angles from time to time so we get a good view of what’s around us.”

Some of Connecticut’s largest concert venues issued statements after the attack in Manchester UK on Monday night.

Related Content: ‘Broken’ Ariana Grande speaks out after deadly Manchester concert

Carrie Davis, Chief Communications Officer for Live Nation, issued the following reaction from the world’s largest concert promoter:

We are deeply saddened by this senseless tragedy and our hearts and thoughts are with those impacted by this devastating incident.”

Ray Pineault, President and General Manager of Mohegan Sun said that the safety of their guests in critical.

The safety of our patrons is our number one priority. We are constantly reviewing and re-evaluating our security protocols to ensure those who visit us are always in a safe environment. We do have one of the most secure venues in the country, however we recognize the need to be extra vigilant and are taking the necessary steps to do so in light of recent events.”

Related Content: Witnesses describe chaos at Ariana Grande concert

Ashley Polo, Director of Brand Marketing Communications for Foxwoods Resort Casino, highlighted some of the security techniques already in place at Foxwoods.

The safety of our guests and team members is of paramount importance to Foxwoods Resort Casino. Foxwoods has always placed a strong focus on security through random trunk checks, screening and metal detectors at concerts, video surveillance through thousands of camera, countless security personnel and Tribal Police officers and more. We are deeply saddened to learn of this unfortunate tragedy and our thoughts are with the families at this difficult time.

While the XL Center in Hartford is being renovated, personnel there are keeping guest security in mind. The next event at the XL Center will not occur until September 24th.

The XL center says the venue is following the tragic events closely and will respond appropriately as they move forward.”

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