Advice for attending outdoor events, be aware and be prepared - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Advice for attending outdoor events, be aware and be prepared

(Source: WAVE 3 News) (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Outdoor public spaces and open air venues are such a big part of the city's culture and quality of life; it's hard to imagine Louisville without them.

Until the mass killings in Las Vegas, it was also hard to imagine someone using an outdoor event to do so much harm. 

Kelly Jones, Deputy Director of Louisville Metro Emergency Services, is the former LMPD commander of the Special Operations Division. It was his job to protect crowds at some of the biggest outdoor events in this part of the country. 

Jones said the mass shooting in Las Vegas will have police taking a new look at potential threats from high vantage points.

"No one ever planned to see a man knock out those hotel windows and do that the way that he did," Jones said. "That is not something that anyone could have ever fathomed. We have to find the highest points. What's the best point to see? How do we get elevated? What can the bad guy see, someone who is intent on doing evil?"

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For LMPD, Jones has had to secure open places like the infield at Derby and the Oaks, and countless outdoor concerts. 

Louisville's riverfront was developed just for special events and bringing people together in large numbers. Thunder Over Louisville draws hundreds of thousands of people, many in line of sight from high-rise downtown buildings.

Jones said event attendees should take steps to protect their own safety by asking themselves a couple of questions.

"Is there a place where I can take cover? Where is the closest place where I can find safety?" Jones said. "I think it's incumbent upon folks who attend events to look around them and know where they are."

Jones said a lot of work already goes into event security and the public might be surprised to find out how many plainclothes officers are in the crowd with them.

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