Verizon Arena, Riverfest work to amp up security after terror attack in England

Local venues amp up security after England terror attack

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - After Monday's bombing outside of a concert in Manchester, Verizon Arena announced it will have extra police presence in response to the attack.

Some of that includes extra police presence when everyone is coming in and whenever everyone is leaving the stadium. Wesley Holmes, Assistant General manager of Verizon Arena, said they hire security and North Little Rock also brings there patrol.

“We think we are covered as well as we can be,” said Holmes.

He also thinks their implementation of metal detectors has been a great help to ensure safety. But when tragic events like this happen they work hard to reevaluate their existing security plans.

“There are constantly emergency preparedness plans that are being updated and we’re constantly reading and talking to other buildings to see what they do,” said Holmes.

There are similar efforts in the works for this year's Riverfest.

DeAnna Korte, Director of Riverfest, said they have been preparing for these type of events since the Boston Bombings. This year, they will have all of their standard security procedures and over 120 officers working the event.

“We’ve got eyes in the sky, we’ve got eyes on buildings, and we got people you wouldn't even know were affiliated with law enforcement that are all over the perimeter of our event,” said Korte.

Additionally, Little Rock police say they are even doing something unique this year at Riverfest. The public information office will be there the entire time providing constant social media updates about any significant events.

But while they'll continue to work hard to ensure safety, Lieutenant Steven McClanahan said there are simply no guarantees.

“We’re never totally prepared for a true terrorist incident like what happened in Manchester,” he said. “I think those are at best something we do train for, but until you've been there and done that, training is just a small part of it.”

Police say help from the public is critical. They ask everyone to be aware of their surroundings and if you see anything out of the ordinary, please say something.

© 2017 KTHV-TV


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