Sin City is leaving no security stone unturned on New Year’s Eve after Stephen Paddock carried out the deadliest mass shooting, which left 58 people dead and injured over 525 more, in modern U.S. history. The October massacre has led Las Vegas authorities to take implement heightened security measures, to say the least, on the famed Strip, where the Foo Fighters, Britney Spears, and Bruno Mars will perform for crowds who will see unprecedented precautions to ensure their safety.
Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo tells the Las Vegas Review-Journal that not only will the airport and Strip see snipers stationed in abundance (the city generally only employs spotters during the holiday fireworks), but 300 National Guard troops and at least 1,500 cops will patrol the most sensitive areas of the city. Further the area of the Strip near the Mandalay Bay hotel (where Paddock fired from the 32nd floor in a meticulously planned attack) will be closed. CNN also reports that intelligence gathering efforts will include social media reports, and even though Sheriff Lombardo emphasizes that there’s currently no known threat, Vegas will be on its highest alert level:
Lombardo said the Homeland Security Department has elevated Las Vegas’ New Year’s Eve festivities to a Level 1 on its special-events protocols — the highest security level. The higher rating is due to a several factors, including the number of attendees and economic impact to the city, he said.
Lombardo emphasized the preparations are a precaution and do not mean there are any known threats to the city.
Previously, a Level 3 alert was used in Vegas for New Year’s festivities, and given that the National Guard troops who are present have been effectively doubled since past years, it’s clear that officials are leaving nothing to chance. Indeed, Clark County Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak told the LA Times, “Nobody puts on a New Year’s Eve show like Las Vegas, and never will it be as safe as it will be this year.” After a violence-filled year, let’s hope 2018 arrives quietly and without incident.