Mass shootings spark Rockford area security awareness

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ROCKFORD (WREX) — As the nation mourns the 31 people lost in two separate mass shootings, law enforcement and security staff in Rockford are preparing for the worst.

Whether it’s a sports game, a concert or a community festival, safety is top of mind for those behind the scenes of Rockford’s largest events.

“The number one goal is to ensure the safety of the people coming,” Rockford IceHogs Director of Business Operations Mike Peck said. “I mean we want you to come enjoy yourself be entertained and and be safe.”

Peck said he takes into account the thousands of people that walk through the doors at the BMO Harris Bank Center. He said his security staff trains with Rockford Police and Rockford Fire so they’re ready to act amid danger.

The venue, which also hosts concerts, has a clear bag policy and bag searches.

“We don’t have metal detectors and it’s a cost measure so that’s why we use the wands and the bag searches,” Peck said. “It takes a little bit longer but it’s necessary to keep everyone safe.”

For Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office Training Director Frank Ingardona, the best thing you can do is protect yourself by staying alert.

“If you see something strange notify us,” Ingardona said. “You know if you see something say something it’s important that you are passing information on.”

Experts say to stay aware, don’t let your phone distract you, always locate the nearest exit and think of strategies to run, hide and fight in the case of a dangerous situation.

Ingardona recommends asking yourself questions like, “What would I do if this happened?”

“If you put it in the front of your mind it’ll you’ll get to it quicker,” Ingardona “If something bad happens you’ll be able to react faster.”

There’s expected to be thousands of people at Choice Furniture Field at Rivets Stadium on Aug. 15 for Snoop Dogg, Bone Thugz-N- Harmony and Warren G.

General Manager of Rivets Stadium Chad Bauer says concert-goers can expect local law enforcement outside the stadium and security inside the venue.

“Unfortunately it’s become a common thing to have heavy levels of security at events these days,” Bauer said.

Concert-goers can expect to only bring in small purses and everyone will be wanded and frisked to prevent weapons from getting inside the stadium.

“We’ve talked about everything from weather to if somebody had a weapon,” Bauer said.

Breane Lyga

Breane Lyga

Content Manager

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