Las Vegas tragedy: How Hartford police prepare to protect large CT concert venues

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — One of Connecticut’s largest and most popular outdoor concert venues is the Xfinity Theatre in Hartford. So, when the news broke about the mass shooting tragedy at the outdoor concert venue in Las Vegas, it hit Hartford Deputy Police Chief Brian Foley hard.

“You start to think right away what can we do or what can we learn from what happened in Las Vegas so that we can do our jobs better here,” Foley said.

Deputy Chief Foley says each event has an operations plan and once that’s discussed, they move into a worst case scenario plan that includes responses to hospitals, active shooters, or any sort of attack on large crowds. They also often conduct active shooter drills at venues like the Xfinity Theatre.

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“It’s to the point now where we have corporations, venues like Xfinity, different campuses that reach out to us,” Foley said. “They want us to do our training at their facilities. They send us schematics of their buildings, blueprints. We meet with their security officers and we have a game plan should something like this happen.”

He also says from the Command Center inside the Hartford PD, they scour more than 700 cameras set up around the city looking for criminal activity and they have technology that sends out alerts to each officer in the street if shots have been fired and that technology pinpoints the location of the gunfire within seconds so officers can respond almost immediately and try to diffuse the situation.

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That’s the goal — to diffuse the situation and save lives.

He also says you can do your part before you settle in at a large, public event — devise an escape plan.

“I know when I go to a movie, a mall, a large event like that with my family, off duty as a private citizen, I’m constantly looking at the exits and making a plan — what am I going to do should something go wrong and how am I going to react?” he said.