FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — After the shootings this past weekend in Texas and Ohio, many may be in an elevated state of awareness when it comes to large public outings. With large crowds expected this weekend at Promenade Park for the official opening, officials are making sure everything is in place to make sure people are safe.
The process to make ensure public safety takes some time, “We plan months in advance,” says Sgt. Sofia Rosales-Scatena, the Public Information Officer for the Fort Wayne Police Department. “We also look at what other cities have done for their events. We look to see what we can take out of what they have done, what worked and what didn’t, and adjust for our events here. We’ve done a pretty good job maintaining the safety and security of these events and will continue to do so.”
In addition to looking at other cities events, they also draw on our local events such as Three Rivers Festival to understand what kind of resources they may need. For this event they will have drones, a tool they haven’t had in past years.
“That’s that new technology that we are bringing into these events,” explains Chuck Reddinger Deputy of Recreation for Fort Wayne Parks and Rec,”We get that birds-eye view to have good coverage and to help direct emergency operations on the ground, it gives us a great view of the event live as its unfolding and there is no delay.”
Along with drones, the multiple layers of security stretch to officers on bikes and other specialty units. However, the public’s eyes and ears are still crucial to safety this weekend.
“We want to encourage the public though to stay vigilant and they are our best line of defense” adds Sgt. Rosales-Scatena, “So if you see something, say something, get ahold of an officer, call 9-1-1 if you have to. We would rather it be nothing and check on it than to not have the information at all.”
The Police Department reminds everyone to remember the AVOID/DENY/ DEFEND steps when it comes to an active shooter situation.
- Call 9-1-1 as soon as you are in a safe location
- Provide any information you can
- Understand dispatch is going to ask a lot of questions
- If you don’t know, DON’T GUESS
- Description: Start with head going down to feet
- Be aware of your surroundings and who is around you.
- Do not hesitate to leave if your surroundings don’t look safe
- Exit from the closest, safe exit
- Don’t limit yourself to doors only
- DENY ACCESS
- Keep the attacker away from you
- Lock the door, Turn lights off, Stay out of Sight
- Close doors
- Lock doors
- Barricade if door opens toward you
- Use desk, chairs, shelves to barricade
- Use bag straps or belts to help hold door close
- Fight as if your life depends on it, cause it WILL
- Be Aggressive-YOU do not quit, fight until the attacker quits
- You are NOT helpless, What you do Matters!